R10m in unexplained spending in Tshwane speaker's office

Executive Mayor of Tshwane Solly Msimanga. (Veli Nhlapo, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)
Executive Mayor of Tshwane Solly Msimanga. (Veli Nhlapo, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

Pretoria – Millions of rand were lost to corruption during the ANC's management of Tshwane, mayor Solly Msimanga claimed on Thursday.

"The DA-led Tshwane administration has uncovered that over R10m worth of invoices submitted to the former office of the speaker for 'work' done during the period 2014, 2015 and 2016 could not be corroborated, nor was there justification for the payments," he said a statement.

The African National Congress lost control of the metro to a Democratic Alliance-led coalition following the August 3, 2016, local government elections.

Msimanga said the corruption was uncovered during a forensic investigation by an independent entity.

The report, which was served at the city's monthly council sitting, details how suppliers collectively claimed they were owed R28 172 203.

"The investigation revealed serious transgressions of supply chain management processes as well as cases of possible fraud within the office of the speaker. There were also solid indications that some suppliers had submitted invoices for work not done," Msimanga said.

The findings in the report include:

  • Certain entities did not exist, but submitted quotations. The quotations were in fact intended to be cover quotes;
  • Some invoices were for services rendered for ANC rallies, including the erection of R114 000 tombstones for "struggle" individuals;
  • Striking similarities in quotations and invoices, suggesting that entities were either colluding or belonged to the same owners;
  • Some suppliers had been paid for services rendered in other city departments;
  • The speaker's office had limited supporting documentation for invoices;
  • Some of the invoices submitted did not appear to be related to the office's work and;
  • That costs were inflated.

"It is clear that rampant theft and fraud reigned supreme under the watch of the former mayor and speaker. Tshwane residents have been robbed of monies running into millions of rand which could have been used for the socio-economic development of the city and to create much-needed employment opportunities," said Msimanga.

Shortly after taking office, Msimanga said corruption was a serious problem in the city.

In order to stop it, the council had approved several recommendations.

These included that the city stop doing business with people or entities that had defrauded it and that legal action be taken regarding wrongdoing the forensic audit had uncovered.

ANC caucus spokesperson Lesego Makhubela said the party had long called for a forensic investigation into the speaker’s office and supported action against those found to be in the wrong.

He claimed the DA/EFF-led administration was targeting black-owned companies.

Makhubela said the council did not look into the report and that city manager Moeketsi Mosola had clarified his stance on it in a letter dated July 26.

Mosola said Part A of the forensic report had been finalised. No conclusions or findings were however made against councillors.

Part B would deal with the responsibility and accountability of city councillors and officials.

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