Tshwane mayor denies bribery, corruption allegations as EFF opens criminal case

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Randall Williams.
Randall Williams.
Melinda Stuurman
  • Randall Williams denied corruption allegations regarding a pending power contract.
  • The contract relates to leasing the land on which the city's power stations are located. 
  • The EFF on Wednesday opened criminal cases of bribery and corruption against Williams.

The mayor of the City of Tshwane, Randall Williams, denied allegations of corruption and impropriety relating to a pending power contract. 

Williams is accused of "bullying" opposition leaders into endorsing an unsolicited tender. 

Williams wants to lease land on which the city's power stations are located. 

On Wednesday, Williams dismissed the allegations as misleading information and a political smear campaign by opposition parties.

He said he received a lucrative investment proposal from several companies to install gas turbines, where the Pretoria West and Rooiwal power stations are located. 

Williams said:

The project has the potential to add an additional 800MW to the city's power grid. In view of the current increased and continuous levels of load shedding by Eskom, the proposal presented significant value to the city in terms of advancing energy independence.

He added that the city would have benefitted from a cash injection of R26 billion.

Williams submitted a report before the city council on Tuesday, which he later withdrew.

In it, he requested the support of coalition partners to publish the proposal for public comment.

He withdrew the report after it was met with criticism by opposition parties, including the EFF, ActionSA and ANC. 

READ | EFF, ANC, ActionSA block plan for R26 billion unsolicited bid to ramp up Tshwane electricity

The MEC for Human Settlements, Lebogang Maile, wrote to Williams on Wednesday. 

"The allegations are deemed very serious, with far-reaching ramifications on the integrity and governance of the office of the executive mayor,  the municipality and the office of the speaker," said Maile.

He said, if true, the allegations threatened the violation of supply chain management laws. 

The EFF in Tshwane opened a criminal case of bribery and corruption at the Brooklyn police station on Wednesday.

The EFF's Obakeng Ramabodu told News24 the party had received a recording of last year's meeting, in which Williams allegedly coerced council members into endorsing the tender. 

He said the lease must not be an advertised tender and be an unsolicited bid. Why did he ignore the department responsible for electricity, which is utility? As the mayor, why did he ignore the supply chain policy?

"Which section is the mayor relying on in instructing officials on how the tender must be issued? That is not the space of the mayor. We think he has overreached and has a personal interest in the tender," said Ramabodu. 

Williams addressed the leaked recording, which he said had been taken out of context to suit the political spear campaign against him.

"Anyone is welcome to listen to this audio. I have nothing to hide. No unlawful instructions were given. This was a meeting consisting of robust discussions and brainstorming to consider what processes the city should use when it received investment proposals," said Williams. 

Ramabodu said the EFF acknowledged the need to find permanent solutions to solving the power crisis, although the party disagreed with the mayor's proposal. 

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