JOHANNESBURG -The city says its investigations have covered allegations of corruption, theft of the city’s assets and hijacked buildings.
Mayor Herman Mashaba’s cleanup operation of City of Johannesburg’s administrative and financial systems has resulted in 1 920 cases being under investigation by the end of June 2017.
During the 2016/17 adjustment budget in February‚ Mashaba pledged R5 million towards his administration’s “skills audit”, saying for the city to function optimally, the right people had to be in the right positions.
“A total number of 314 people have been arrested, including employees of the city. The investigations vary from fraud and corruption, theft of city assets, hijacked buildings, [as well as] unauthorised irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” said acting city spokesperson Luyanda Mfeka.
Mfeka, updating The Citizen on the progress of the various investigations, said more than 100 employees had been suspended, 12 had resigned and seven were dismissed, while an unspecified number were issued with final written warnings.
The city poured cold water on allegations that the framework for investigations was itself open to manipulation, with certain service providers being allegedly handpicked to conduct investigations without going out on tender.
Mfeka said the appointment of service providers to investigate different cases complied with all the relevant legislation, such as the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) and the city’s own procurement policies.
“A tender was advertised wherein 10 different forensic companies were approved including SizweNtsalubaGobodo [auditing firm]. These service providers are appointed on a rotational basis to allow everyone on the panel an opportunity to render their services to the city as and when required,” Mfeka explained.
The criteria applied when selecting companies on a rotational basis to carry out investigations included conflict of interest, complexity of the matters under scrutiny, competence, equity, expertise and experience.
PHOTO: Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba is sworn in by Judge President Dunstan Mlambo during an event at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein, 26 August 2016. Picture: Neil McCartney