Mashaba not following due process - Sacked MMC

2017-02-14 22:29
Joburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba Picture: Jabu Kumalo

Joburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba Picture: Jabu Kumalo

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Johannesburg - Fired Johannesburg MMC Anthony Still has accused Mayor Herman Mashaba of trying to summarily suspend two senior City Power executives without following due process.

Mashaba announced that the mayoral committee member was fired on Tuesday because of a difference in opinion about investigating alleged fraud and corruption in the city.

Still told News24 that they clashed over Mashaba’s attempts to suspend City Power CEO Sicelo Xulu and communications manager Yumna Sheik.

“My beef is not that he wants to investigate corruption. I am as keen to root out corruption as he is, but it’s the process.”

He did not want Xulu and Sheik suspended without a legal process having been followed.

"I was seen by the mayor as an obstacle to getting Mr Xulu suspended immediately, and I have to say it was beyond my powers to do that," Still said.

He said he told Mashaba that only City Power's board could suspend them and only if they had interfered with the investigation.

“His instruction to the board was to have them suspended, but the board pushed back and said we will look at the allegations and we will give the MD a chance to respond to the allegations. In terms of law and natural justice, you have to do that,” Still said.

Mashaba had ordered an investigation into “serious allegations” about tender processes at the power utility. It would be conducted by auditing firm Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo and was expected to last six weeks.

News24 has learnt that the investigation would look at a R1.25bn tender given to one of President Jacob Zuma’s key benefactors, Vivian Reddy’s Edison Power group.

In 2012, it was given the contract to supply “smart” electricity meters to the city. Previous investigations had found no wrongdoing in the awarding of the tenders.

“I am not at all opposed to the mayor wanting to investigate again, to put his own mind to rest. There is always a possibility that they uncover something that they have not uncovered before," Still said.

Mashaba’s spokesperson Tony Taverna-Turisan said he would make his findings public, but legally he could not comment yet.

He said Mashaba wanted MMCs that shared his approach to fighting corruption. If they did not live up to his standards, he could remove them at his discretion.

“The reality is there is a pattern of a lack of accountability for political leadership in our country and in this case the mayor is holding an individual accountable and insisting on the strongest political leadership in the fight against corruption in our city,” Taverna-Turisan said.

The ANC’s Greater Johannesburg spokesperson, Jolidee Matongo, said Still had seen the investigation into Xulu as wasteful expenditure.

Still said he would stay on as a DA councillor.

“I will carry on as a councillor and see how the cookie crumbles.”

Read more on:    city power  |  herman mashaba  |  johannesburg

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