Solly Msimanga is, as of today, no longer mayor of the metro. His successor is expected to be elected by a special sitting of council later this morning. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - Former Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga vacated his office at Tshwane House with a bang when his mayoral committee passed a resolution to have the impugned GladAfrica contract set aside by a court of law.

Msimanga’s mayoral term ended last month, and he will now focus solely on his campaign as DA candidate for Gauteng premier.

This follows the finding by the Auditor-General that the contract had been procured in contravention of Regulation 32 of the Municipal Finance Management Act: Supply Chain Management Regulations.

Mayoral spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi said: “The mandate of the DA-led City government is for honest government, and it compels us to take action against corruption and irregularity wherever we find it.”

Mgobozi said that in September last year council approved a recommendation by Msimanga for an investigation into the conduct of City manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola in awarding the tender.

“But according to supply chain management reports submitted by Mosola, the tender had already been awarded in September 2017. But it was only in May 2018, eight months later, that Mosola reported the award to the mayoral committee and the municipal council.

“Missing from this late disclosure was the name GladAfrica; that it had been the only service provider appointed from a potential panel of service providers; the value of the award; and that senior counsel had advised Mosola not to award the tender.”

He said at that time Msimanga had already instructed his legal adviser to investigate claims of irregularity made by a number of whistle-blowers.

“While the ANC agreed to the investigation against the city manager, the party joined the EFF in blocking Msimanga’s recommendation that Mosola be placed on precautionary suspension."

Mosola also obtained a Labour Court interdict against the tabling of a preliminary report by Bowmans on the matter into his conduct. “And so the merits of the disciplinary matter are yet to be decided,” he added.

“In the meantime the AG finding compels the City to approach a court to have the contract set aside as unlawful and constitutionally invalid.”

Msimanga’s last day in office yesterday was an emotional affair. Communications officer in the mayor’s office, Vanessa Barbosa de Sousa, wrote on Facebook: “Last day of our executive mayor. I’d be lying if I said that a few tears haven’t been shed this morning.”

Commenting on the status, Hester Gill said: “The mayor is moving on to bigger and better things. Thank you for your role in all of this.”

Salome Janse van Rensburg, posted: “Good luck, Solly, we are 100% behind you.”

Yesterday morning, Msimanga posted an emotional farewell message on a WhatsApp group for mayoral staff: “Today marks my last day as the executive mayor of our capital city. This has been a roller-coaster ride since we started this terms of administration.

“We’ve had excitement and drama, nothing less than memorable and a big experience of love and support, frustration, tears, joy and accomplishment. For this, I thank you.”

He told his former colleagues that he bade farewell to them “to pursue a new endeavour, which I’m sure you all know about”. Today, DA mayor-elect Stevens Mokgalapa is expected to become his successor.

Pretoria News