Johannesburg - The African National Congress cannot claim to be committed to fighting corruption while seeking to conceal corruption within their ranks at the same time, City of Johannesburg council speaker Vasco da Gama said on Sunday.
"I have received notice of the ANC’s intention to approach the court in order to prevent a council motion, proposing to refer a former MMC [mayoral committee member] and current sitting ANC councillor who has been implicated in alleged maladministration and corruption," da Gama said.
This was despite the ANC's recent commitment to fighting corruption within the city and ensuring that their councillors adhered to strict ethical standards.
"The ANC cannot claim to be committed to fighting corruption while seeking to conceal corruption within their ranks at the same time. More so, council has a duty to ensure that all councillors within the city act to serve in the best interests of our residents and not themselves.
"This baseless court action cannot be separated from the ANC’s motion of no confidence [in mayor Herman Mashaba] as they seek to re-install ANC leadership that would continue to cover-up such criminal acts," Da Gama said.
This was not the first instance where the conduct of ANC councillors had been brought into question. Despite the ANC’s claims to have expelled ward 92 councillor Leepile Motsumi from its ranks due to allegations of fraud and corruption, Motsumi remained a city councillor and continued to draw a salary. The ANC had failed to officially remove him from their ranks in the council, he said.
On October 17, Motsumi was arrested by the Hawks, working together with the city’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service (GFIS), for the illegal sale of two city-owned property stands. The stands were sold for a total of R210,000.
Motsumi was not the only ANC councillor in this position. Another ANC councillor, Mpho Sesedinyane, was "convicted of the crime of assault by the Protea Magistrate’s Court". He too continued to draw a councillor’s salary despite his conviction. These were not the actions of an organisation committed to fighting corruption, Da Gama said.
"As council, we will defend the residents of this city against the corruption and will happily do so against the ANC in court. If the ANC is serious about their commitment to fighting corruption, they will abandon their plan and work with the council to remove criminal members from the city council with haste," he said.
African News Agency