CITY MANAGER Dr Moeketsi Mosola briefs journalists after he successfully interdicted the tabling of the GladAfrica tender probe report to council. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - Under-fire Tshwane City Manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola on Thursday came out guns blazing after he successfully interdicted what he termed a “bogus report” into his alleged involvement in the GladAfrica tender irregularity.

At the same time, Executive Mayor Solly Msimanga questioned why there was so much nervousness surrounding a report that had not even been circulated for consideration.

Meanwhile, the ANC called for the GladAfrica tender to be set aside. In council earlier in the day, the ANC tabled a motion for the suspension of Mosola. The motion was disallowed on the basis of a technicality, after which the ANC walked out of council.

GladAfrica was contracted to the City in November for three years to assist in the roll-out of infrastructure projects valued at R12billion. Mosola has been accused of not following procedures when he awarded the tender.

The preliminary report was to have been tabled during an ordinary council sitting on Thursday, but was shelved after Mosola was granted a temporary relief interdict by the Labour Court.

At the briefing he had harsh words for both Msimanga and Bowman-Gilfillan (the company that conducted the investigation). “The reason why I called the report a bogus report is that I have no other way but to call it that.”

He said the terms of reference of the investigation were concealed from him and he only learnt about them in court on Thursday. He discredited the work of Bowman-Gilfillan that conducted the investigation, saying it was partial.

Mosola slammed the approach taken by Msimanga to investigate him. “The DA-led government must know that this is not a Wild, Wild West, where you skiet, skop en donder (shoot, kick and beat). This is South Africa, where the judiciary is independent.”

The court ruled in his favour and also ascertained that it had jurisdiction in line with Section 158 (H) of the Labour Relations Act to hear the matter.

Judge Andre van Niekerk also affirmed that the matter could be heard on an urgent basis. However, the case was postponed to November 9 to allow the respondents - Msimanga, speaker Katlego Mathebe and the City of Tshwane - time to file their answering affidavits. Msimanga said his administration would make further arguments as to why council needed to consider the preliminary report into alleged tender irregularities as was resolved on September 10.

“Specifically, we maintain that the Labour Court indeed has no jurisdiction over this matter because the investigation currently under way relates to tender irregularities and not the relationship between employer and employee.”

He also had some harsh words for the ANC: “We are steadfast in our commitment to accountability in this regard. The same cannot be said for the ANC that this (yesterday) morning announced they were to move for the suspension of the city manager, but were chanting that they have no problem with him. It is duplicitous, to say the least. The ANC would do well to decide whether or not it is committed to getting to the bottom of this matter.”

The alleged tender irregularities surfaced two months ago in media reports and council then instituted a preliminary investigation to determine the veracity of the allegations.

Mosola questioned the lawfulness and independence of the investigation into allegations of financial misconduct against him, saying such allegations can only be investigated by the Financial Disciplinary Board in line with Section 171 of the Municipal Financial Management Act.

He said Msimanga and the DA failed to abide by the law in terms of conducting the investigation as both parties were “determined to get rid of him”.

“My fault in this whole thing is that I suspended the then mayoral chief of staff (Marietha Aucamp) and that matter embarrassed the DA,” Mosola charged.

The ANC in Tshwane, which together with the EFF voiced their support for Mosola after the scandal broke, threatened to go to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, if Msimanga did not heed the call to take the tender on judicial review within seven days.

Pretoria News