The City of Tshwane’s first-ever deputy mayor, Dr Nasiphi Moya, was elected unopposed during Thursday’s special council sitting in spite of the allegations that she previously defrauded the municipality of an amount of R10 000.
Blowing the whistle on the alleged misappropriation of funds was Tshwane regional EFF leader Obakeng Ramabodu, who told council that his party was in possession of proof to back up its claims.
Moya has been asked by council Speaker Mncedi Ndzwanana to answer to the EFF’ claims in writing.
Unimpressed by Ndzwanana’s call on the matter, the EFF believed the council missed an opportunity to test Moya’s ethical morals and behaviour by not allowing her to give a prompt response.
Ramabodu said the funds were linked to a cancelled Saudi Arabia trip which Moya and her delegation had planned to take while she worked as the City’s chief of staff under former Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa.
Despite that the trip was cancelled Moya allegedly received R10 000 “pocket money”, according to the EFF.
Ramabodu said: “We want to test her ethical morals and behaviour. She got the right to say I didn’t honour the trip to Saudi Arabia or I didn’t take the R10 000. The municipality has the records. If she then cancelled the trip because of some emergency - we would understand, but why did she take the R10 000?”
ANC regional leader Euegen “Bonzo” Modise questioned why the person accused of defrauding the municipality of R10 000 could be entrusted with managing billions of rands.
“What the EFF said is fundamental.We come here and we know and she has a choice to respond or not respond to the allegations. If somebody can misuse R1 000 and she is given the opportunity to manage R20 billion, the City will be in much bigger financial problems than it is now,”he said.
In Moya’s defence, ActionSA Gauteng provincial chairperson Funzi Ngobeni dismissed the EFF claims, saying they were “strikingly without basis”.
“These issues, which they have raised now, should have been raised at the time with the then-Executive Mayor, who issued the instructions for the trip to Saudi Arabia. The EFF’s desperate move to only raise this issue after all these years smacks of political grandstanding, considering that at the time of this allegation, the EFF was in a cooperative arrangement with the government at the time,” he said in a media statement.
He also said Moya neither went on the trip with the delegation to Saudi Arabia nor issued instructions to that effect.
In her acceptance speech, Moya said her priority would be to ensure there were improved services to the residents.
She committed to making sure that basic services are consistently delivered to citizens on a daily basis and that accelerated infrastructure development and maintenance becomes the crucial driver of the city’s growth.
“Let us set aside our political differences and work together in service of the people of Tshwane. Hold me accountable for my actions and let us all deliver on the promises we have made to our constituents in 2021,”she said.
Executive Mayor Cilliers Brink said the deputy mayor’s existence would stabilise the coalition should something happen to the executive mayor.
“If I have to vacate office the deputy mayor would assist with continuity,” he said.
He said the deputy mayor would also double as MMC for social development after her predecessor Peggy de Bruin vacated that position.
“Of course, the deputy mayor will also have responsibilities to track progress on capital projects,”Brink said.
ANC caucus spokesperson Joel Masilela warned that the coalition arrangement to have a deputy mayor “is set for a serious implosion”.
“The DA is not happy. ActionSA wants to take over. I can bet my last coin that sooner or later that lady seated next to you (Brink) is going to be your worst enemy,” he said.
FF Plus’s Grandi Theunissen said: “We trust that she will do her best and not disappoint us as a coalition going forward. Her primary objective would be to serve the entire community of the City of Tshwane. We will be watching you and as long as you endeavour to do that.”
African Christian Democratic Party’s Ronald Moraka said: “Our townships are in a dilapidated state and I hope this mixture will pay dividends. It is a norm today that load shedding affects the townships, especially the RDP areas. I congratulate you Dr and I hope that you will close this gap between the rich and the poor.”