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PROTECTED DISCLOSURE

Did City MMC and Youth League leader instruct Johannesburg Property Company to pay for ANCYL function?

Did City MMC and Youth League leader instruct Johannesburg Property Company to pay for ANCYL function?
Economic Development MMC Nomoya Mnisi. (Photo: Gallo Images / Luba Lesolle) | An ANC supporter. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

‘It’s outright corruption by politicians,’ says trade union Samwu, while the MMC denies it.

A whistle-blower has said in a protected disclosure that an ANC Youth League executive member who is also a Johannesburg MMC instructed him to pay an events invoice for the party in July.

The acting CFO of the Johannesburg Property Company, Sipho Mzobe, has made a whistle-blower report in which he says the MMC, Nomoya Mnisi, instructed him to pay an invoice for a Youth League conference in July. The price tag: almost R800 000 (see invoice below).

Mnisi is a member of the mayoral committee in Johannesburg and also an ANC Youth League national executive committee member, where she is responsible for fundraising. She has denied speaking to Mzobe or submitting the invoice. “I have never instructed him to settle a Youth League conference invoice,” Mnisi told Daily Maverick.

Mzobe’s disclosure says he refused the instruction and said his treatment by Mnisi had traumatised him. “I am not sure what wrong I have done to the MMC, except to refuse to deal with an invoice… addressed to Cllr (councillor) Mnisi. I did not pay such an invoice as it did not relate to JPC operations. This aggravated issues with the MMC more determined that I be removed from finance,” reads Mzobe’s protected disclosure.

Mzobe is a member of the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), which has waived the right to confidentiality in the public interest. “It’s outright corruption,” says Samwu’s Karabo Ramahuma, who is the Gauteng treasurer and represents the whistle-blower.

Samwu has lodged a concern with city manager Floyd Brink, JPC CEO Helen Botes and board chairperson Enos Sithole. 

“It has come to our attention that one of our members, Mr Sipho Mzobe, is being victimised and harassed at a political level,” Samwu wrote.

The trade union’s letter also details how Mnisi allegedly threatened board members by message and that she is trying to hand-pick executives and board members of the JPC. The JPC is one of Johannesburg’s wealthiest entities. It controls a portfolio of 64,000 City-owned properties worth R8.6-billion.

Mnisi says she was doing her political oversight work and that Mzobe was not allowed to act as CFO for more than three months. This was why he was now “throwing his toys around”, she said. “Who victimised him?” she asked.

Mzobe has subsequently stepped back into his former role as a financial manager at the JPC.

Repeated scandals

The City’s public property company has been embroiled in repeated scandals, most recently in spending on personal protective equipment. (See Mark Heywood’s report here). The company is about to oversee R2-billion refurbishment of the City’s metropolitan building and a “decant” into adjacent properties by at least 20,000 staff members that will cost citizens hundreds of millions of rands. The JPC board will oversee this contract.    

Mzobe alleged in his disclosure that Mnisi had railed against him for more than two hours in a board meeting and believes it is because he also blew the whistle against the previous political incumbent. Mzobe alleged that ActionSA’s Nkuli Mbundu had tried to interfere in JPC contracts when he had political oversight under a different coalition. (Mbundu denied the claims at the time.)

The whistle-blower alleged that Mnisi wants to make her own permanent appointment to the acting CFO role.

“The CFO position has been advertised twice but due to political influence, the shortlisting and interview process thereof has stalled, as you are aware. I have been reliably informed that the MMC has instructed governance to stall the finalisation of the permanent CFO (position) as her preferred candidate did not apply until the validity of the current advert expires in order to re-advertise again,” Mzobe wrote.

He also said a board member had told him the MMC was “giving them unlawful instructions”, and he alleged she encouraged information leaks from the board. Samwu has provided screenshots from Mnisi’s phone to show her messages to board members. (See below).

Politicians are supposed to operate at arm’s length from the City’s entities to insulate the administration from the executive. Mnisi’s alleged actions rode roughshod over numerous municipal laws and regulations.

On Tuesday, 1 August, ActionSA laid a criminal complaint against Mnisi. 

Comment and context: Most of Johannesburg’s R80-billion budget is spent through municipal entities such as the JPC, making them a prime target for political interference and rent extraction. This has occurred through successive city governments. The Youth League invoice is relatively tiny but reveals the risk of political interference and local state capture.

Johannesburg has had five mayors since the 2021 election and is the most unstable of Gauteng’s metropolitan coalition governments. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    Usual trick, DENY, DENY and DENY.
    well done whistle blower!

  • James Francis says:

    A union protecting a whistleblower and taking on a corrupt politician? It would be great if we could see more of this.

    • Johan Buys says:

      James, that is an interesting angle on this sorry story. With luck Mzobe is protected. With even more luck, somebody looks into what the else Mnisi pushed through the payment system.

  • Robert Pegg says:

    When will the gravy train crash or disappear over a cliff ?

  • Nic Bosveld says:

    More of the same from the same bunch of arrogant cadres

  • she is as guilty as hell! omg, they are so arrogant!

  • Hermann Funk says:

    Nothing new, except that the country sinks deeper and deeper into the morass.

  • David Katz says:

    This is why the ANC and the EFF are in an alliance. It’s all about the money. Values, beliefs, policy is for conferences and rallies.

  • Gregory Scott says:

    I hope that the union has the legs and stomach to protect this whistleblower and I also hope that the perpetrator is removed from office due to incompetence.

  • Denise Smit says:

    R800 000 is not tiny, the impression this articles gives is that corruption can be excused if done by the ANC as long as the money involved is not huge witch is relative. The same applies to the practice of the offender coming off as long as you pay back the money . What if you were not caught out. Denise Smit

  • John Counihan says:

    What a horrible, arrogant individual is this Mnisi character. Just look at the body language in the mug shots. The ANC seems to breed them in numbers. Our hope is in the youth of RSA, but seeing what this one is up to dampens that hope.

  • Brian Doyle says:

    And the beat goes on. Another corrupt ANC official joins the ever growing rank of the corrupt party

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    Forget about the ANC function….we should be asking who is funding the EFF and their 10th birthday celebration at which 9000 people appeared wearing tee shirts and berets paid for by someone else!
    My guess it’s Russia – anyone want to bet on this? It might explain the clandestine visit by Lady R – delivering red tee shirts and berets with the help of the ANC!

  • Gerrie Pretorius says:

    “The Youth League invoice is relatively tiny but reveals the risk of political interference and local state capture.” R 800,000.00 is ‘tiny’??? It must be a very rich deployee who wrote this stupid sentence.

  • Michael Clark says:

    Imagine what the ANC are stealing that doesn’t get exposed. With our dysfunctional and corrupt police minister I hope he has arranged private protection.

  • Denise Smit says:

    So Me Haffajee, what figure makes is not relatively tiny? Disgusting comment. Corruption is corruption 1 cent of R1 000 000. Denise Smit

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