South Africa


City of Cape Town councillor Zahid Badroodien to face disciplinary hearing for alleged electricity meter tampering

City of Cape Town councillor Zahid Badroodien to face disciplinary hearing for alleged electricity meter tampering
Former Mayco member for water and sanitation Zahid Badroodien. (Photo: Gallo Images / Misha Jordaan)

The stage has finally been set for embattled City of Cape Town councillor Zahid Badroodien’s council disciplinary hearing, which begins on Wednesday, 12 October.

City of Cape Town councillor Zahid Badroodien landed in hot water recently when it was revealed that an electricity meter had been tampered with at a house belonging to him. He requested that he be allowed to step down from his Mayoral Committee (Mayco) member for water and sanitation position until his disciplinary hearing was finalised.  

He will face a disciplinary committee on Wednesday, 12 October, which will be chaired by DA councillor Ian Neilson. The remaining members will be councillors from other political parties. 

Badroodien did not deny that the electricity meter had been tampered with. He said that in 2016 he had taken out a bond under his name after being asked by his parents to assist them in buying a property for his younger sibling. Construction of the property was completed in 2019, but it remained vacant until November 2021, prompting the councillor to temporarily move into the property as it was close to the ward he had been elected to serve. 

He said the matter was discovered shortly after he moved in and he felt embarrassed following the revelations that the meter had been tampered with.  

Daily Maverick asked to attend the disciplinary hearing, but was told that such hearings were closed to the public and the media. 

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Papers seen by Daily Maverick sent to the committee members show that the Speaker requested the City’s legal services department to appoint an independent investigator to investigate possible breaches of the code of conduct by Badroodien.  

“The independent investigator has submitted her report with regard to the possible breach of the code of conduct by cllr Badroodien and [the] Speaker has formed her opinion, on reasonable suspicion that there has been a breach of the code of conduct for councillors by cllr Badroodien,” reads the paper.  

It further states that pursuant to the powers vested in the Speaker, the matter has been transferred to a disciplinary committee for investigation.  

The Speaker said Badroodien lost all privileges that came with the position of Mayco member when he stepped down, including remuneration and entitlements.  

Badroodien is not the first councillor from the DA to be accused of tampering with an electricity meter. The MEC for infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers, was accused of doing this while serving as a council member in George.  

The DA stood by him at the time and he was promoted to MEC.  

Sandra Dickson from the lobby group Stop CoCT said if Badroodien is found guilty he should be treated like any other citizen and get a fine.   

“The City should seriously consider shortening the amount of time it takes to investigate and resolve such issues. Stretching an investigation out over many years is painful and costly for all concerned as it stops people from moving on with their lives.”  

Political analyst Asanda Ngoasheng said Badroodien should be dismissed because, as a political leader, he has a bigger responsibility than the average citizen.  

“He swore to uphold the law, and stealing electricity is a crime that takes away much-needed revenue from the City and also makes it difficult for the City to plan for electric[ity] consumption. If leaders are allowed to get away with stealing electricity, then it will be impossible to police private citizens on this issue.” DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Malcolm McManus says:

    Full disclosure should be encouraged and inviting other parties to the disciplinary hearings shows accountability. Something our ruling party could take heed of.

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