The City of Cape Town is accused of not being ‘forthcoming with public records’, especially regarding the forensic report into the land auction of Site B in the Foreshore. Pictures: Brendan Magaar / African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Pressure is mounting on the City of Cape Town to release the forensic report into a so-called botched auction of a prime piece of land in the Foreshore to Growthpoint Properties. 

It recently emerged that the six-month long investigation had been completed, however the outcome was still to be published.

“We’ve requested that the City release the forensic report. The City’s response was that we must do a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application.

“While we’ll request access to the forensic report, we suspect that this will be refused. Our experience in this regard is that the city is not forthcoming about public records, especially when these may implicate financial wrongdoing,” Jonty Cogger, attorney at Ndifuna Ukwazi, said.

He said public officials must realise that they were not only accountable to political parties - they must be held accountable publicly, especially when it involved public resources.

“The City only responded with one sentence by saying there are no irregularities in the disposal of Site B in the 2016 auction. If this is the case, then the city must release the forensic report. What is the City hiding?” he said.

Good party secretary-general Brett Herron has also made a PAIA application.

“It’s ridiculous that it’s being hidden from the public. The land was public land, owned by the public, and meant to be in the safe custody of the City. The sale of the land is not a private transaction and the public has the right to scrutinise the investigation of what appears to be a failure of the City to act in the best interest of the public,” Herron said.

But a City forensic investigation revealed that there were no irregularities with regard to the sale of the property.

Spokesperson for the City Luthando Tyhalibongo said: “The city can confirm that two requests have been received, this hardly constitutes a public outcry. In terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, the city has 30 days in which to respond, unless the provisions regarding third party notice and intervention are applicable.

“The City can confirm it was not a council request, therefore, no report will be tabled at council,” Tyhalibongo said.

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Cape Argus