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Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, and Mayco member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron, visited Dunoon on Thursday last week where they discussed future developments for the area. PHOTO: city of cape town
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Imagine my reaction when, a non-entity by the name of Brett Herron, an unremarkable and failed politician aboard a floundering ship called the GOOD Party, had the gall to essentially accuse me of corruption, writes Herman Mashaba.
When I decided to officially enter politics three
years ago, I was fed up with the state of corruption, malfeasance and general
lawless displayed by many leaders and civil servants.
My disgust was largely with the disrespect public
funds were treated with and how, often, cosy relationships between certain
political leaders and private business interests ultimately gave rise to the
phenomenon we now know as state capture.
At the losing end of all these illicit transactions
were millions of poor South Africans who have been waiting forever for support
from their government.
Heartbreaking still, we witnessed as the reputations
of once morally courageous individuals were sacrificed at the altar of
political expediency and corrupt debauchery.
One day we respected them and held them in high
regard, and then the next, we couldn't wait to spit on their names.
When I decided to enter the political fray, I vowed to
myself: "That will never be me. I will serve my people with distinction,
honour and integrity. I will not lie to them. Neither will I steal from them
nor promise them things I cannot deliver."
So, you can imagine my reaction when, a non-entity by
the name of Brett Herron, an unremarkable and failed politician aboard a
floundering ship called the GOOD Party, had the gall to essentially accuse me of
According to Herron, I have been involved in a grand
conspiracy to manipulate the valuation of commercial properties, particularly
in favour of those belonging to Growthpoint Properties. But why this company
specifically, you may wonder?
In his moronic grab for publicity at my expense,
Herron has hedged his bets on a 2006 article, stating I had entered into a BEE
deal with Growthpoint Properties, through an empowerment vehicle called
Phatsima Properties – a black controlled and managed property investment
I held an indirect beneficial interest in Phatsima of
40% through the Herman and Connie Mashaba Trust.
This is the shoestring which Herron hopes will hold
his accusations together.
Had Herron simply asked, I would have told him that a
year prior to entering the race to become Mayor of Johannesburg, I resigned
from Growthpoint as a non-executive director and deputy chairman of the
My resignation was made public – there are at least
two online news articles to this effect. I also resigned from all other board
positions in private and public companies.
This also included the sale of my interests within the
said company, two years prior to me running for office.
All that has occurred here is that Herron has
attempted to obtain much-needed coverage for his present political platform
using my name.
Ironic this, from a party which has run to court at
the slightest hint of anyone doing the same.
In 2016, when I entered politics, I did so not for any
perks which may be perceived to come with the job.
I did not do so to simply to replicate years of
misgovernance and corruption. On the contrary, I entered the political fray to
rid our society of these despicable tendencies.
Brett, if you doubt my dedication to ridding our
society of lawlessness and corruption, then you have not been paying attention
to the work my administration has been doing with Operation Buya Mthetho.
Through this by-law enforcement initiative, the City
of Johannesburg has recovered R1.3bn from businesses that had connected
illegally to the City's services, as a result of corruption by the previous
Corruption is enemy number 1 in Johannesburg. That is
why we have opened 4000 cases of fraud and corruption, involving transactions
We have fired officials across numerous municipal
entities for having corrupt dealings with businesses that sought to rob the
City and its residents.
However, as part of your salacious accusations against
me, you claim that Growthpoint Properties should be paying R200m more in rates.
But that, as a direct result of my involvement in property valuation matters,
they are not paying that money.
The property valuation process is a legislated one
handled by independent property valuers, who continue to act independently.
Your complaint, if we can call it that, offers no
evidence of any undue influence in the valuations process simply because there
In fact, in an environment of over 1,2 million
accounts, the City has seen to it that third party valuers have been put on the
job to identify undervalued properties whose values can be corrected and
revenue can be claimed by the City.
With that said, I welcome any investigation into the "complaint"
I wonder if Herron would do the same?
As for you Mr Herron, I am giving you seven days to
retract your libellous accusations and issue a public apology, failing which, I
look forward to dragging you and your "source" to court for a serving
of humble pie.
- Mashaba is executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg.
Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
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