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‘Interfering’ ActionSA MMC threatened with legal action by Johannesburg Property Company bosses

Johannesburg Property Company executives want their political boss member of the mayoral committee for economic development Nkululeko Mbundu to retract allegations that they are corrupt. File image.

Johannesburg Property Company executives want their political boss member of the mayoral committee for economic development Nkululeko Mbundu to retract allegations that they are corrupt. File image.

Published Aug 3, 2022

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Johannesburg - City of Joburg member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for economic development Nkululeko Mbundu has until Wednesday to retract damaging claims he made against one of the municipal entities reporting to him.

The executive management of the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC), which manages and develops the City of Joburg’s property portfolio valued at about R8.6 billion, is threatening to haul ActionSA councillor Mbundu to court over false, defamatory and inflammatory allegations he has made against the entity since February.

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Last Thursday, JPC management’s lawyer Rudolph Baloyi wrote to Mbundu, demanding that he desist with his unlawful conduct of defaming them on public platforms in breach of his duty as a MMC and responsible political office bearer under the Municipal Systems Act.

”We request that you provide an undertaking to this effect by close of business on Wednesday, August 3, 2022,” reads the ten page letter, which Independent Media has seen.

On Wednesday morning, Mbundu said his office and legal team were dealing with the JPC executives’ demands and threats.

Mbundu has been accused of accepting a bribe of R3 000 and a bottle of whisky by a Johannesburg official for him to renew the Metropolitan Trading Company’s wi-fi contract and the matter is currently being probed by the council’s ethics committee.

He was told that although his role is to exercise political oversight over the JPC, its executives wish to state that they do not engage in the politics of the City of Johannesburg.

”JPC is politically neutral, in other words, it is not inclined to any political party. In fact, over the years it has worked with assigned political heads from various political parties,” stated the letter.

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They are demanding a written complete retraction of the false and defamatory allegations Mbundu made against them.

According to the letter, Mbundu must provide an undertaking that he will cease and desist from making further inflammatory remarks that tarnish the image of the JPC and its executives.

The JPC bosses want Mbundu to also provide an undertaking that he shall not hinder the JPC from undertaking its mandate and issue a public apology to the company and its executives.

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In interviews, Mbundu has accused JPC executives of being corrupt, being a criminal gang, issuing leases at a ridiculously reduced rate as well as colluding with members of the ANC and EFF to unlawfully enrich them at the company’s expense.

”You confirm that the statements are false and without basis and that you do not possess any evidence to support your claims and allegations. Furthermore, you should undertake not to make such false and defamatory statements against our client in future,” reads the letter.

The executives accuse Mbundu of breaching the code of conduct for councillors, which enjoins him to perform the functions of his office in good faith, honestly and in a transparent manner.

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”The quality of the JPC executives’ work is under doubt in circumstances where there is no evidence that it has not been carrying out its mandate to the city,” the executives stated.

The executives said Mbundu was prohibited by the terms of the code from interfering in the management of the company and that they decided to raise his unlawful interference in the affairs of the JPC in a manner that breaches the act and the code at a board strategy session held in April.

As a result of Mbundu’s inflammatory public statements, the executives complained, the city has intimated doubt as to whether the functions performed by the JPC are correctly positioned and whether they have the ability to undertake its functions.

Mbundu’s conduct has severely damaged their reputation and image through his false, defamatory and inflammatory allegations as well as inciteful statements.

”These statements hinder the JPC from undertaking its mandate to the city ... Should the need so arise, executive management reserves in toto (in total) its right to take legal action in an appropriate tribunal,” they added.

The Saturday Star

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