City of Cape Town’s Zahid Badroodien ‘relieved’ after receiving written warning following meter tampering allegations
Six months after stepping down as a mayoral committee (Mayco) member for water and sanitation in the City of Cape Town following allegations of electricity meter tampering, councillor Zahid Badroodien is happy that now he can go back to his position without a cloud hanging over his head.
City of Cape Town councillor Zahid Badroodien could not contain his joy when he spoke about the outcome of the disciplinary hearing against him.
The City of Cape Town’s disciplinary committee has recommended that Badroodien receive a formal written warning.
The committee’s findings will be tabled at a city council meeting this week and could pave the way for the councillor to return as a Mayco member. Badroodien voluntarily stepped down six months ago after the Office of the Speaker alerted him to an investigation into electricity meter tampering at a property he owns.
He faced three charges:
- Breach of the Cape Town Electricity Supply By-Law, 2010, as amended;
- Breach of code of conduct for councillors; and
- Gross misconduct.
Read more in Daily Maverick: “City of Cape Town councillor Zahid Badroodien to face disciplinary hearing for alleged electricity meter tampering”
Badroodien pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
In the report, the committee concluded that, on the evidence before it, it could not prove Badroodien had tampered with the electricity meters and also could not prove that he had the intent to tamper with the meters or that he was aware of the tampering of electricity meters on the property. He was found not guilty of allegations two and three.
“The committee was, however, of the view that Badroodien as the lawful and registered owner, should have been more diligent in managing his responsibilities regarding the property in this regard and, as a result, he permitted (unknowingly) the tampering of the electricity meters and non-payment of the electricity consumption at the property,” reads the report.
The report stated that Badroodien is a first-time offender of the code of conduct and that he repaid the outstanding electricity charges in respect of the tampered meters.
It further stated that Badroodien had cooperated with the investigation and the subsequent disciplinary proceedings without delay and, on the receipt of the allegations, he immediately and voluntarily stood down as a Mayco member.
“Accordingly, the disciplinary committee unanimously recommends [that] Councillor Z Badroodien receive a formal written warning to refrain from similar conduct in future and to always act in the best interests of the City and in such a way that the credibility and integrity of the City are not compromised,” reads the report.
The findings will be put to the council for a decision.
Badroodien told Daily Maverick: “The determination of the sanctions only became known to me when the report to the council was distributed to the councillors. Returning to the position of MMC for water and sanitation is a decision the mayor will make and I hope that he will consider it, noting the recommendations in the council report.
“It has been a long six months [of] protecting my integrity against the allegations of tampering. I went into this process with a clear conscience. I have come out with a clear conscience as well but have learnt the importance of exercising diligence over one’s property, especially when being leased out or under the care of other individuals.”
City of Cape Town spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said that after an outcome is achieved by the disciplinary committee, it is reported to a full sitting of the council.
“The mayor will communicate an update on Mayco once finalised.”
Meanwhile, the DA in the Western Cape has not been able to serve a suspension letter on axed City of Cape Town councillor Malusi Booi.
Booi was fired by mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis from Mayco a week after police raided his City of Cape Town offices in the Civic Centre and seized electronic equipment and documents. The police’s Commercial Crimes Investigation Unit is investigating a fraud and corruption case in the human settlements department that Booi headed.
The DA had given Booi 24 hours to respond on why the party should not suspend him from party activities — he missed the deadline. DA Western Cape leader Tertuis Simmers said the matter was now with the party lawyers and the sheriff of the court would serve the letter to Booi. DM
Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has confirmed that Badroodien can now resume his seat as the mayoral committee member for water and sanitation. This follows the outcome of an inquiry clearing the councillor of charges relating to electricity tampering.