ANC to lay criminal charges following alleged City of Tshwane property tender scandal

2019-11-25 19:00
ANC Tshwane regional chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa.

ANC Tshwane regional chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa.

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Following an alleged corruption scandal involving the City of Tshwane's property portfolio, the ANC intends to lay criminal charges with the Hawks and a complaint with the Public Protector.

During a media briefing on Monday morning, ANC Tshwane chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa disclosed several documents which, he said, implicated senior City officials who allegedly fixed a tender for a company called Aurecon, through corrupt means.

News24 previously reported that in April 2018, the City appointed the company to advise it on which of its 52 000 properties to develop, lease or sell across its R10bn property portfolio.

READ MORE: City of Tshwane launches investigation into controversial property development tender

Shortly before the contract was awarded, a senior municipal official, the former deputy director of the City's property portfolio, who helped initiate the contract, resigned and started consulting for Aurecon on the project.

Maepa said documents indicated that the former deputy director portfolio and the current group head of the City's property portfolio were "in a corrupt relationship to fix a deal for Aurecon".

Maepa said the former deputy director, who was the contact person between Aurecon and the City, resigned at the end of April/May 2018 and joined the company as a consultant.

Former city manager Moeketsi Mosola appointed Aurecon on April 20, 2018.

Maepa also accused the former City official of leasing buildings and processing sales of property in the City's portfolio at prices not approved by the council.

He added that the contract did not go out to tender as per the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), even though the value of the contract exceeded R500 000. The contract was valued at R14m.

According to the ANC, R6.4m was paid upfront to Aurecon before the service level agreement (SLA) was signed.

"This is in contravention with MFMA. According to the MFMA, payment cannot be effected before work is done and the SLA is signed by the city manager and the service provider," Maepa said.

He said the two implicated City officials had fast-tracked the payment. 

The ANC in Tshwane announced on Monday that it would lay criminal charges with the Hawks after consulting with its attorneys. The party also intends to lay complaints with the Public Protector and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), he said.

"We are immediately taking new evidence to the Public Protector and the NPA's panel of judges appointed by the president to deal with corruption-related activities in government," Maepa said.

"We also request the office of the Auditor General (AG) South Africa to come in immediately and audit. We are confident that the AG will come to similar conclusions as those in the GladAfrica corruption."

Maepa also demanded that the acting city manager suspend the group head of the City's property portfolio with immediate effect.

Two days ago, News24 reported that Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa launched an investigation to "set the record straight" relating to the relationship between the City and Aurecon.

Through his spokesperson, Mokgalapa said any allegation of corruption or wrongdoing is taken seriously, which is why a forensic investigation was launched, to decipher whether any legislation was ignored throughout the process of the contract being awarded.

"Once concluded in approximately eight weeks, the outcome will be shared with the public. This administration remains vehemently opposed to corruption in all its forms. As such, those found to have flouted any legislation in this regard will face the full might of the law," mayoral spokesperson Omogolo Taunyane said.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  pretoria  |  politics  |  corruption

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