City of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba. FILE PICTURE

Johannesburg - City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba on Monday announced that Leah Knott would assume the position of Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Economic Development.

"MMC Knott brings with her years of ward-based community activism, serving the people of Johannesburg. MMC Knott holds a legal qualification and years of experience in the property development planning industry prior to becoming a councillor," Mashaba said in a statement.

"Under MMC Knott’s leadership, the Department of Economic Development will be driving the implementation of the City’s jobs and growth strategy. The key deliverables of this strategy will be the achievement of investment and job creation. I am confident MMC Knott will play an invaluable role in this regard.

"I have every confidence in MMC Knott’s abilities and I wish her well in this new role. I am confident that she will continue to serve the residents of our City with distinction." 

On August 2, Mashaba announced that he decided to remove former MMC for Economic Development, Sharon Peetz, on grounds of suspected misconduct.

The alleged misconduct relates to an investigation into whether Peetz acted “irregularly” in arranging for a family member to accompany her on an official trip to Spain.

At the time, he said the allegation was levelled against Peetz earlier this year, during a council meeting.

“Through a forensic investigation conducted at the time, it was determined that the City had not incurred any costs for the travel of the family member. It was therefore determined that the allegations levelled against the Cllr Peetz at the time were without merit,” Mashaba said.

“Recent evidence has been brought to our attention that the proof of payment, between Cllr Peetz and the Travel Agent, which the councillor had provided to my office as proof that she had paid the travel agent, was allegedly falsified.”

Mashaba said that further forensic investigation had been undertaken into the proof of payment. 

“It is stressed that the money concerned remains allegedly owed to the Travel Agent, and it remains the case that the City has not incurred any losses. Through her actions, it is my belief that Cllr Peetz has misled myself, the Council and the residents of Johannesburg,” Mashaba said.

“I have made it clear that, under my leadership, the City of Johannesburg will not tolerate such conduct any longer. Irrespective of one’s role in the City, and irrespective of your political affiliation, there will be accountability for wrongdoing.”