Cape Coloured Congress opens case alleging City fleet management corruption

Cape Coloured Congress councillor Fadiel Adams outside Central police station on Tuesday morning. Picture: Mwangi Githahu/Cape Argus

Cape Coloured Congress councillor Fadiel Adams outside Central police station on Tuesday morning. Picture: Mwangi Githahu/Cape Argus

Published Jun 21, 2023


Cape Town - Cape Coloured Congress (CCC) councillor Fadiel Adams has laid charges against City officials at Cape Town Central police station, alleging that he has “uncovered” corruption within the fleet management department.

Adams alleged that he received confidential documents showing tender and employment irregularities in the department.

In response to queries about the complaint by the CCC, the City released a one-line statement in which spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said: “The City is looking into the particulars of this enquiry and will respond in due course.”

The fleet management department procures the vehicles for, on behalf, and for the benefit of other departments.

Adams said mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis received a report about the fleet management department three months ago, which showed these irregularities, but said there was no wrongdoing even though the City’s forensic department was investigating.

“Our big fear is that the City again takes a forensic report and puts it into a drawer for years. That’s why we lodged the complaint. The pressure must be kept on,” he said:

“We’re saying what is the point of having another forensic investigation and then nothing happens even if the report is concluded?”

Adams said there was a cover-up of a report showing “irregularities and impropriety” referenced in the documents, of which Adams shared excerpts with journalists.

He said he had based his complaint to the police on the documents.

According to the documents, the report has seven streams and these have been categorised into illegitimate and irregular appointments; nepotism and favouritism in the fleet management department; gross dishonesty; inconsistent and malicious disciplinary procedures in the fleet management department; fruitless and wasteful expenditure; corruption; and fraud and tender irregularities.

Fleet management is a department housed in the corporate services directorate. It is tasked with the management of hundreds of City vehicles.

According to the documents: “The City is spending billions of rand on the purchase of new vehicles. Where there is such high expenditure, there should be careful scrutiny of practices and procedures to prevent fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

“Unfortunately, in the fleet management department, this is largely left unattended and allows the department to spend billions of rand with few control mechanisms in place.”

Adams said: “These are all allegations at this stage. What we have here is related to the City’s fleet management.”

He said the department bought new vehicles with a service and maintenance plan and that, on average it spent 25% to 30% of the capital budget on fleet management on additional service plans that were never used.

“To date they have spent R500 million on these service plans.

“Do you understand how this must be a form of money laundering? Paying for services that you’re never going to use. Those cars come with a service plan, but they buy another one for each.

“As far as I know the City has about 3 000 vehicles. You do the maths. We’re hoping Commercial Crimes will investigate and find out who is behind the corruption.”

From his base in Joburg, anti-crime activist Hanif Loonat, who has been working with Adams on exposing corruption at the City, said the complaint was “just one more of the many dossiers we have against departments in the City of Cape Town”.

Loonat worked with Adams on exposing the construction tender fraud case, due to return to the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on July 16.

That matter involves directors and employees of Ilitha Painters and Decorators, trading as The Construction Company, and two City officials.

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Cape Argus