Public protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg - Allegations of corruption surrounding the hosting of the 2009 Miss World beauty pageant should be investigated, the City of Johannesburg said on Monday.

The municipality sent a letter to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela asking her to investigate the allegations after a meeting of the mayoral committee last week, spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane said in a statement.

At the meeting it was also resolved that anyone with evidence of wrongdoing should submit this information to the public protector.

The Democratic Alliance recently questioned the legality of contracts the city entered into for the hosting of the Miss World competition in 2008 and 2009, claiming that over R120 million had been spent on the two events.

The mayoral committee found that media reports had raised questions about the city's authority to bid to host the final of the 2009 event and to sign the agreement.

There had also been implications of impropriety regarding budgeting and buying the rights for the pageant.

The city had launched its own investigation into the matter via its municipal public accounts committee and risk audit service department, Modingoane said.

“The matter was also considered by the full council of the city where the matter was concluded on the basis that no evidence of corruption or impropriety could be established.”

However, the city decided to ask the public protector to investigate the matter in the interests of transparency.

“The city does not take these allegations lightly and wants to ensure that its reputation is not tarnished and that it continues to be and be seen as a world class African city able to attract reputable international events.”

Modingoane said the city would co-operate fully with the public protector.

The public protector's spokeswoman Kgalalelo Masibi confirmed that the city's request had been received. - Sapa