Cape Town - A forensic investigator will be appointed within seven days to probe alleged irregularities in the appointment of top city cop Robbie Robberts and whether City safety boss, Richard Bosman, acted improperly.
Deliberating behind closed doors for the second time on the controversial matter, the city council resolved to appoint an investigator to probe claims that Bosman and Robberts were in cahoots with politicians to have Robberts appointed as the city’s enforcement and policy director.
The ANC said email exchanges in 2015 showed JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety, security and social services, knew of the process.
It also said the speaker, Dirk Smit, had conveniently refused to call for an investigation into Smith.
“We have seen JP and his clique are being protected from any sort of accountability. He is the one that runs the administration. Whatever he says, goes. The speaker is merely jumping to JP’s orders,” the ANC said.
Because the meeting was closed to the public, councillors could not speak publicly of the matter, but opposition parties issued statements and held press conference to give an update.
The ANC and the African Christian Democratic Party were left frustrated because Robberts and Bosman will remain in their position while the investigation continues.
“Why did they not suspend both these officials pending the outcome of the investigation? We saw Melissa Whitehead being suspended while the Bowman investigation continued. Why can’t the same happened to these fellows,” the ANC said.
The ACDP said officials must realise that they worked for the city, and with the huge salaries and bonuses many received, they owed allegiance to the ratepayers and “not a political master, who only survives on a five-year cycle”.
“In the same light, the ACDP will not tolerate nepotism, favouritism and jobs for the Boys’ Club. No matter how frivolous or vague this allegation may seem to some, we owe it to our ratepayers to investigate this complaint.
“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and we encourage the investigation to delve deep (as with the Patricia de Lille case) to ascertain if any councillors as well as senior officials were involved,” the ACDP said.
In June, the Cape Argus reported that the city forked out more than R300 000 to an employee it had overlooked for the job Robberts now holds.
Annalene Marais, deputy chief of the metro police, lodged a complaint with the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union after she applied for the job. The union took the complaint to the Bargaining Council which found the city failed to give proper consideration to her CV and did not consider her experience in a policing environment. It contended Marais was better qualified than Robberts.
Smith said city manager Lungelo Mbandazayo was authorised to bring a report to the council at the January 2019 meeting after completion of the investigation.
“The city investigated it previously. It is without substance. It will be investigated again now. I have zero input in the appointment process. Richard Bosman has previously given a detailed outline of process. The job was advertised three times before being filled. Lawyers in council gave him the all-clear. But at least you got the pleasure of an ANC press briefing,” said Smith.