Mashaba gives ANC Johannesburg deadline to retract 'defamatory remarks'

2019-02-21 16:43
Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba. (Cornel van Heerden, Netwerk24)

Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba. (Cornel van Heerden, Netwerk24)

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City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has given the ANC's Johannesburg region 48 hours to retract its alleged defamatory remarks.

"Today, I have noted the defamatory comments made by the Johannesburg caucus ANC alleging my involvement in a fictitious cover-up.

"I must categorically dismiss the ANC's frivolous claims as another baseless and weak attempt at impugning not only my own personal reputation [but] that of the administration [as well]," Mashaba said in a statement on Thursday.

This comes after the ANC released a statement on Thursday alleging a "high-level cover-up of allegations of corruption and bribery involving a senior Democratic Alliance leader with close ties to Mayor Herman Mashaba".

"It is alleged that [councillor] Alex Christians received bribes of about R800 000 for his role in helping a private firm to lease Mayfair sports facility without following correct City of Joburg procedures.

"As a councillor, the code of conduct prohibits him from giving instructions to the heads of departments who report to the city manager," the region alleged.

The region claims that Mashaba, who is always vocal about alleged corruption, has remained tight-lipped on this matter.

No evidence of undeclared income

"The ANC believes that Christians violated the oath of his office by using his position to collect information or even bully officials to benefit a private business. Such flagrant abuse must not go unpunished. We want this matter thoroughly investigated," the ANC  said.

Mashaba, however, claims that the chief whip of council received a complaint pertaining to the councillor and immediately requested an investigation by the City's group forensic and investigations services (GFIS).

GFIS could not substantiate the allegation of an R800 000 kickback received by Christians.

"As a part of the forensic investigation, a lifestyle audit of councillor Christians found no evidence of income which had not been declared to the City, further illustrating that there is no evidence to substantiate the claim.

"Given this, I have will be writing to the ANC, giving [it] 48 hours to retract the libellous statement made. I am not going to allow anyone to damage my reputation or divert our efforts to end corruption in the City," Mashaba concluded.

The ANC has since laid a charge of corruption against Christians at the Johannesburg Central Police Station.

"Ours is to make sure that the police investigate and the law enforcement agencies to look into this matter," Joburg Deputy Regional Secretary and Convenor for Community Development Loyiso Masuku concluded.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  herman mashaba  |  johannesburg
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