Johannesburg - Herman Mashaba is back and he is gunning for his predecessor Parks Tau, who he believes ignored the findings of a forensic report that exposed alleged corruption in a Pikitup tender.
Hours after surviving a no-confidence vote tabled by the ANC, executive mayor Mashaba told the Saturday Star his drive to weed out corruption across the City would continue and his team was focusing on a Pikitup tender.
“We are going to be looking at all the people involved in this. If it was the former mayor or his leadership, we will hold them accountable,” he said.
“Everyone in the City, from the former MMC of Finance to the former MMC of Environment, they can't tell us that they didn't know about this.”
The alleged graft involves Pikitup’s acquisition of six unused waste crushers that the waste management company received in 2014, at an alleged cost of R36million.
Mashaba said their investigation had found that the actual cost of the contract was over R53m. According to the report, one of the crushers at Robinson Deep landfill site in Wembley and two others at the Marie Louise landfill site were not operational.
“This was against advice that this was not the right equipment,” Mashaba said. "And the City has had to hire waste crushers since 2014 at R9000 a day.”
He added that the investigation also revealed that a three-year maintenance cost for the waste crushers had been paid up front, and this had cost more than R15m.
“They do a forensic investigation, get the report and put it away, and don't do anything.
"Obviously they did this investigation to show the officials they were doing something,” he explained.
But the former MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services, Tshidi Mfikoe, denies that they sat on the report.
“It is not true. Pikitup did an internal investigation and didn't tell us about it,” she explained.
Mfikoe added that, as part of the political leadership, they were not part of the procurement process.
“We okayed it, and procurement followed, and legally we were not involved with this and we just allowed it to run,” she said.
Mfikoe said she attended a presentation about the crushers and that the need for them made sense at the time.
There was talk, she said, that crushers which break up rubble would be used to supply the Johannesburg Road Agency with gravel for dirt roads.
Mashaba explained that he was tipped off about the crusher tender by a City employee.
He said his corruption investigators, under former Gauteng Hawks boss Shadrack Sibiya, were investigating the tender and were working closely with the police.
“Every single day we are learning of more corruption,” he said.
On Thursday, Mashaba survived a motion of no-confidence with the help of the DA coalition partners, the EFF.
Council speaker Vasco da Gama also faced a no-confidence motion against him.
A total of 140 councillors voted against the motion, and 121 voted in favour of it. Da Gama survived when 140 councillors also voted in his favour and 120 against.
The DA had launched a campaign to save the mayor that included a march through the city and a social media initiative called #HandsOffMashaba.
Mashaba said the motion was an attempt by the ANC to hide corruption and it made him angry.
“I am angry. I didn’t need to spend six or seven hours wasting my time. How does this benefit the people of Johannesburg?
"Jacob Zuma, I am sure, must be the happiest man today, with the conference two weeks away. The ANC in Johannesburg and Gauteng claimed they were squeaky clean. I am sure Zuma is going to use this to show that he is not the only thief.”
But Mfikoe insists that Parks Tau ran a clean council.
“After this investigation he must publish this report, if it favours him or not.
"We ran a clean administration and if he feels we didn't then he must show us and give us proof,” she said.