Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba
Johannesburg - City of Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has slated the planned march of the ANC military veterans to his office as a plot to protect their senior party members, who allegedly looted state coffers while their party was governing the city.

Mashaba’s outburst came after uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans (MKMVA) circulated messages via social media urging its members to march to the City of Joburg’s headquarters to support Wednesday’s motion of no confidence in Mashaba and Speaker Vasco da Gama.

While Mashaba appears only concerned about MKMVA, Cosatu and SACP have also vowed to march to his office on Wednesday as part of the Section 77 national strike initiated by Cosatu.

Last week, Cosatu and the SACP accused Mashaba of laying “flimsy disciplinary charges against their members”.

Thousands of Cosatu members are expected to march to the city centre before going to the banks to demand the “end of state capture”.

The ANC filed a motion of no confidence in Mashaba and Da Gama earlier this month but the council’s programming committee rejected it saying it was not filed according to council rules.

That prompted the ANC to approach the High Court in Joburg asking it to force the city to hold the motion via a secret ballot.

Arguments on the matter are expected to be heard on Wednesday.

But Mashaba was shocked by the determination of the military veterans to march saying: “I can only surmise that the reason behind it is to protect the ANC’s patronage networks which previously allowed them to loot state coffers for their benefit.

“Indeed, I have been advised that the City will soon receive a full report based on an independent forensic investigation into the previous administration’s decision to purchase a 900km fibre broadband network at a cost of R1.3billion.”

Preliminary findings of the report indicated that a number of high-profile individuals associated with the ANC have been linked to the City’s decision to purchase the fibre network, Mashaba said.

“Specifically, it would appear that two senior members of the MKMVA held an interest in the companies benefiting from the purchase of the broadband network, benefiting almost R200million. Why was this permitted?

“The preliminary findings also strongly indicate that the same senior MKMVA members were, from the outset, deeply involved in manipulating the City’s tender process with respect to the deal."

Mashaba did not name the two senior MKMVA members.

But MKMVA chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe had earlier accused the DA of hypocrisy, saying the party had also mobilised its members to march to Parliament ahead of a motion of no confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma last month.

MKMVA national executive committee member Carl Niehaus said they would march against Mashaba, accusing him of failing to implement policies aimed at “addressing the plight of military veterans”.

“These include the lack of housing and healthcare for veterans."

The Star