Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has accused the former ANC-led administration under his predecessor Parks Tau of sweeping corruption under the carpet despite having evidence at their disposal.
Speaking today during a media briefing announcing former Gauteng Hawks boss Shadrack Sibiya as the city’s new head of internal investigations, Mashaba said corruption had robbed people of service delivery and stolen from the poor.
He said that during the campaign trail ahead of the August municipal elections Tau had often challenged him to produce evidence that the ANC administration was corrupt.
“I can now tell you that I’m inundated with these allegations, forensic reports and questionable tenders, all of which have been purposely hidden from the public eye,” said Mashaba.
In October Tau was elected as the president of the United Cities and Local Governments‚ a world body of municipalities – which was seen as confirmation of the good work that he did as the former mayor of Johannesburg.
Mashaba had next to him a thick pile of lever files, which he claimed contained forensic reports and allegations of corruption against city officials that would keep Sibiya very busy in the first months of his new job.
He said political leaders who “turn a blind eye” to corrupt activities were equally guilty as those directly involved in the act.
“I regard both categories to be people who do not belong to in the City of Johannesburg,” said Mashaba.
Sibiya comes with a decorated profile, having risen up the ranks in the South African Police Services from being a junior officer to a detective and serving as chief special investigator in the defunct Scorpions elite crime investigating Unit.
He joined the Hawks following the disbandment of the Scorpions, rising to rank of Brigadier before becoming the head of the unit in Gauteng.
But his career path was cut short when he was suspended by Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza following allegations that in 2010 he participated in the illegal deportation of Zimbabwean national back to their home country, where some later died or disappeared.
The matter was still before the courts, Sibiya said, saying that he was unable to comment any more.
However, Mashaba said he had “total confidence that the charges pertaining to the rendition trial will elicit nothing further” in the same way that the court dismissed previous charges of fraud and corruption against Sibiya on the grounds that they were baseless.
He said Sibiya’s first task was to set up an investigative unit in the city, then follow up on concluded investigations that needed to implemented, and later into tenders that had been awarded to relatives of people who work in the city.
Sibiya said he was a professional and his office would not be used to settle political scores.