Mashaba meets with Hawks over corruption in the City of Johannesburg

(File Photo) Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, by Greg Nicolson for Daily Maverick.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba met with Hawks head General Godfrey Lebeya and his team on Tuesday to uncover "serious corruption" in the city.

“The purpose of this meeting was to bring a number of serious criminal matters to his attention and express my concern over the failure of our criminal justice system to ensure that the rampant corruption uncovered in the City of Johannesburg results in criminal convictions,” Mashaba said in a statement on Wednesday.

This comes after the Group Forensic and Investigation Services (GFIS) investigated more than 4 000 cases totaling R24bn to date.

“The GFIS Unit has completed over 100 forensic investigations, with serious criminal findings. Yet, despite the City’s efforts in exposing and ending this rot, criminal cases opened by the City are not resulting in prosecutions,” he said.

The criminal cases brought to the Hawks include the R1.7bn failed Johannesburg Broadband Network Project and the alleged corrupt relationship between Regiments Fund Managers and former MMC of Finance in the City and current leader of the ANC in Johannesburg, Geoff Makhubo.

“The R1.7bn failed Johannesburg Broadband Network Project saw national Cabinet members benefit to the tune of millions of rand. Today, three years later, the non-operational network is valued at only R600m.

“In 2006, Regiments Fund Managers received a contract to manage the City’s ‘sinking fund’ – a pool worth billions of rand set aside to meet the City’s future debt repayment needs. By 2015, Regiments had amassed an estimated R300m in fees,” Mashaba said.

The Johannesburg mayor has further written to new National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shamila Batohi to request a meeting, after several cases were allegedly withdrawn by the NPA.

“To date, the National Prosecuting Authority has withdrawn a number of clearly prosecutable cases from court for no valid reason. In other instances, the investigation officers do not appear to be putting the required effort into ensuring that criminals have their day in court,” he said.

The criminal cases which will be brought to Batohi’s attention include:

–    Former candidate valuer, Mbali McClare, who was arrested for deliberately undervaluing 22 properties in the City, amounting to just under R500 million;
–    Directors of Setheo Engineering arrested in 2017 for colluding with City Power officials and receiving payments exceeding R88m for work that was never completed;
–    Former MMC of Housing Dan Bovu, who was arrested on charges of corruption and theft for the illegal sale of state land to vulnerable people within our society.

“With Johannesburg being the economic engine of our country, it is essential that we do not turn a blind eye to the rampant looting and theft which took place. This will be key to rebuilding trust, getting our country working again and on the path to prosperity,” Mashaba said. DM


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