Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba File picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA Pictures
Johannesburg - A 35-year-old official is the latest to be fired by Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba in the city’s bid to rid itself of corruption.

The official is facing a criminal charge after the city opened a case against him.

The man, who has been working for the council for 11 years, joins over 100 officials who have either been suspended or fired, or have voluntarily resigned, for a variety of offences, including fraud, corruption, theft, and unauthorised, irregular, fruitless or wasteful expenditure, since Mashaba took over the municipality a year ago.

Eighty-one employees were suspended, 12 resigned and seven were dismissed.

The latest official to lose his job is a former community development department facilities manager who was working at the Dlamini Multipurpose Centre in Soweto. He was arrested on Thursday and charged with theft.

The man, who cannot yet be identified, was expected to appear at the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

According to Mashaba, the former employee rented out the hall to a prominent pastor for R21 000 in 2014 without authorisation. This was discovered by an investigation previously conducted in 2016 by the city’s Group Forensic and Investigation Services (GFIS).

Lucky Sindane, strategic stakeholder manager of the GFIS, said they became aware of what had happened only when the pastor approached the council shortly afterwards and asked for a receipt.

“When we checked the system, the transaction was not there,” Sindane said.

He said the man went through an internal disciplinary hearing early this year and was found guilty of corruption and theft. He was dismissed as a city employee in May, but this did not stop the council from taking legal action against him.

Mashaba said that was an example that even if someone resigned or was dismissed from the council, they were not off the hook.

“We will pursue criminal charges and recoup what is due to the city. That is why we will continue to vigorously pursue every allegation of corruption.”

Mashaba said there was no place for corruption in the municipality.

“We will work tirelessly, and in collaboration with institutions such as the Hawks, SAPS and all other institutions within the criminal justice system to ensure that the residents of Johannesburg receive the quality services they deserve,” he said.

Other high-profile people who have been sacked at the city since Mashaba took over include former City Power managing director Sicelo Xulu, who was dismissed for serious misconduct.

Earlier in the year, Mashaba also fired MMC for environmental and infrastructure services Anthony Still.

Mashaba said he fired Still because the two of them held different views on how to deal with allegations of corruption and fraud at City Power.

Sharon Peetz, a former MMC for economic development, was also recently fired for irregularly taking a family member with her on a work trip to Spain.

The Star