City manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola briefs the media. File picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA).
Pretoria - Tshwane city manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola has received a serious talking-to from executive mayor Stevens Mokgalapa about the controversial authorisation of a trip by officials to China.

Mokgalapa called off the trip in April after it came to his attention that Mosola “erroneously” signed a document on his behalf.

He then called for an investigation to determine how the anomaly in the documents occurred.

On Monday he broke his silence in the wake of the probe, saying he had already given the implicated parties a tongue-lashing.

“I did reprimand those who were involved. For me the fact that it was cancelled and that the city never incurred any funds for it; it ended there,” he said. Asked who exactly he reprimanded, he said: “It was the city manager I reprimanded because that was his signature.”

He said that his message to Mosola was that what happened with the China trip must not repeat itself.

“What I have received was that it was done in hindsight and I requested that it should never happen again. It was just an administrative error in terms of the signature that happened,” he said. He slammed the practice by senior city officials to overlook the role of politicians in the municipality.

He said that by cancelling the trip he wanted to make a point to “people to understand that the politician is in charge here”.

“If I feel that a trip is not useful or viable for the city I’ve got to manage those interests. I can’t allow a willy-nilly trip while I am preaching that we don’t have money,” he said.

He said it had become a norm that officials would submit documents to him at the last minute, hoping that he would sign them without scrutiny.

“Luckily you have the mayor who knows how to do an oversight part. All the applications that come to me I do apply my mind. I always say the answer is ‘no’ up until it becomes a ‘yes’ with convincing reasons.”

Pretoria News