Executive mayor Solly Msimanga. File picture: Oupa Mokoena/ANA
Pretoria - When a man pointed his gun at Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga, bawling at him to hand over the car keys, he instinctively co-operated.

The man snatched the keys of Msimanga’s private Mercedes-Benz and drove off with his accomplice, leaving the mayor shaken and bewildered.

“I walked towards my car and I opened it. Suddenly, a man pointed a gun at me and demanded my keys. Another man was already next to my car.

“The gunman spoke in Sesotho, saying 'give me those keys'. I handed them to him and he pushed me away. It happened so fast,” Msimanga told The Sunday Independent. 

Prior to the incident, the mayor had been with two friends, Prince and Tshepo, at a restaurant in Carlswald, Midrand. Recounting his ordeal, he said the three parted ways just after midnight. Prince and Tshepo went to their vehicles.

Msimanga said, in his opinion, the main target of the robbers was his vehicle.

READ: Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga hijacked in Midrand

“They had no balaclavas but I did not look at their faces. I did not resist their demands. It was clear that these men were after the car. I do not think that I was the target. If that was the case, they would have shot me right there,” Msimanga said.

He said he immediately contacted the police through 10111 and his tracker company, which managed to trace his vehicle for a while on the N1 north towards Pretoria.

“The tracking company later contacted me to inform me that they had lost track of the car. I think these robbers managed to find the tracker in the car and disconnected it.”

Msimanga has opened a case of robbery at the Pretoria Central police station. The police said they would refer the docket to the Midrand police.

The latest incident comes just three days after Msimanga’s municipality was singled out for praise by Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu when he tabled his general report on the local government audit outcomes in Parliament this week.

Makwetu said municipal managers and chief financial officers who were appointed after the 2016 local government elections and their political leadership assisted his auditors in uncovering irregular expenditures which had been hidden for the past three years.

In his report, Makwetu said: “Encouragingly, unauthorised expenditure in Gauteng decreased from R3.2billion to R2bn due to improved budget controls and monitoring, particularly at the City of Tshwane, where unauthorised expenditure decreased by R1.3bn.

“However, irregular expenditure in Gauteng increased significantly to R3.7bn (2015-2016: R1.3bn) due to increased supply chain management non-compliance, as well as irregular expenditure on contracts awarded in previous years (so-called legacy projects).

“The majority of the irregular expenditure (R2.4bn: 66%) related to expenditure on legacy contracts, which are still under investigation,” Makwetu said.

He said of the three metros in Gauteng, the City of Tshwane was the largest contributor of irregular expenditure with R1.8bn (50%), of which R1.6bn (87%) was due to legacy contracts, which included R1.3bn on the smart prepaid meter contract.

He said similar hidden irregular expenditures were uncovered in Joburg and Ekurhuleni.

“The City of Johannesburg Metro incurred R706 million of the irregular expenditure, of which R313m related to legacy projects.

“The City of Ekurhuleni incurred R591m of irregular expenditure, of which R224m related to legacy projects, including R209m relating to the bus rapid transport project,” Makwetu said.

Sunday Independent