The Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Human Settlement, Uhuru Moiloa, has decided to institute an investigation into alleged maladministration, fraud, corruption and malpractice in the City of Johannesburg.
The department head Thandeka Mbassa said Moiloa has taken a tough posture against any act of corrupt activity in the local government in Gauteng.
“In that regard, the MEC has invoked the provisions of section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act, to firmly deal with all the allegations of irregularities reported in the media recently,” Mbassa said.
This move, Mbassa said, comes following a number of cases of alleged fraud, corruption and maladministration that have been reported in the media, with irregular appointments of senior managers, councillors failure to adhere to the Code of Conduct, contracts management and alleged political interference in the Supply Chain Management.
Alleged cases of corruption in the City of Ekurhuleni, the City of Joburg and the City of Tshwane at the centre of these media reports.
“This section further empowers me to endow such an investigation with real powers, for example the investigation can subpoena witnesses to take evidence under oath and to administer an oath; to call for the production of books, documents and objects; the liability of witnesses for offences; offences in respect of witnesses and the liability for obstructing and hindering the investigation,” he said.
The MEC said he will report back once the said investigations are concluded. Joburg’s Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba responded to the news saying the matters to be investigated appear to be a replication of the matters cited in the African National Congress (ANC) in Johannesburg’s complaint to the Public Protector last year.
He said he responded to Moiloa saying the investigation is motivated by politics rather than good governance principles.
“The Public Protector began investigating the allegations raised by the MEC last year. This arose from a complaint made by the ANC in Johannesburg, in 2017. The Public Protector has engaged the City in the investigation. Duplicating this investigation demonstrates further the irrational nature of the MEC’s decision,” he said.
Mashaba questioned the timing of the investigation and why other matters like Joburg’s Municipal Trading Company (MTC) investigation allegedly implicating two ministers, are not looked in to. Mashaba said the province and the City should be working together to overcome service delivery challenges and initiating the investigation will only distract from this.
Finally, Mashaba said he advises MEC Moiloa to proceed with caution on this matter, ‘because the multi-party government in Johannesburg will not stand by idly when laws are twisted to settle political scores’.
Mashaba has made headlines since he first took the mayoral position in 2016 about uncovering corruption in Joburg. He claims as much as R18 billion in corruption has been uncovered since.