New City of Joburg mayor Geoff Makhubo. File photo: Moeletsi Mabe.
New City of Joburg mayor Geoff Makhubo. File photo: Moeletsi Mabe.

'I am not fazed' - Makhubo on R30m graft claims

By Manyane Manyane Time of article published Dec 8, 2019

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The ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) is yet to table a report looking into allegations that new City of Joburg mayor Geoff Makhubo has pocketed R30 million from the city during his tenure as a member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for finance, despite him claiming that he was cleared of any wrongdoing by the ANC’s provincial integrity committee.

He replaced Herman Mashaba.

He told journalists that the allegations against him had been dealt with.

“We responded to those allegations, said Makhubo. “We were not fazed. We thought that because the EFF wants to be kingmakers they will throw everything. It doesn’t matter who would have stood, they would throw everything on them. I am not fazed. We are going to move forward. The ANC has confidence in us and think we will do our best to service the people of Johannesburg.”

When allegations resurfaced on November 27, Makhubo took to Twitter, saying he approached the ANC integrity commission to probe the matter. He said the commission had concluded its work and that he had been cleared.

But the ANC Gauteng spokesperson Bones Modise confirmed to the Sunday Independent that a report was yet to be formally tabled before the PEC.

“The provincial secretary will communicate a date of the public protector’s report into allegations of corruption against Makhubo,” said Modise.

Asked what would be the decision against Makhubo should the party find him guilty, Modise said: “I can’t pre-empt that for now. Rather wait for the report.”

In December last year, investigative unit AmaBhungane reported that Makhubo scored an estimated R30m from the municipality by acting as an influence broker.

It was reported that in 2006, Regiments Fund Managers, a division of Regiments Capital, received a contract to manage the city’s “sinking fund” - described as a pool of several billion rand put aside to meet the city’s future debt repayments. By 2015, Regiments had taken an estimated R300m in fees.

Makhubo’s appointment was met with mixed reactions from political parties.

The EFF and DA said the appointment of Makhubo showed the ANC would loot the city’s resources.

The EFF’s deputy president Floyd Shivambu said his party had been raising concerns that Makhubo was implicated in corruption activities.

“When he was the mayoral committee member responsible for finance, he was also doing business with the city through his company. He was working with Regiments, the Gupta company, and he’s got a relationship with them. He was also involved in a lot of wrong things,” said Shivambu.

Makhubo won with 137 votes, while the DA candidate came second with 101. The EFF received 30 votes from all their councillors.

“Clearly even some within the DA went to vote with them to gain the 50+1 which they did not deserve to get. We are noting that the DA participated in re-establishing a corrupt government here in the City of Johannesburg. As the opposition, we are going to continue to expose corruption,” added Shivambu.

DA Gauteng chairperson Mike Moriarty said he was disappointed by his party’s councillors who voted for “somebody who is thoroughly compromised with allegations of corruption of over R30m”.

“He profited from the contracts under the city and he was MMC for finance. For us that is an indication of who the person is. If that is the indication, we say everything that we have been saying about the ANC is true. They are also incapable of self-correcting, and unfortunately they have been returned to the office,” said Moriarty.

However, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule defended Makhubo.

“I said to him this is the beginning of the revolution, the struggle continues, and you need to stay focused. He also needs to ensure that he does his work to serve and dedicate himself to the masses of Johannesburg.”

Governance expert and political analyst Sandile Swana said: “Makhubo as an individual has suitable skills that could benefit the city.

“But at the same time, when you have to look at it from a point of good governance, including the question of corruption, when he gets the type of support that he gets from his own comrades, including Magashule, it means that you have to accept that whatever he did with Regiments Capital was not strictly for private benefit of himself. It was aimed at benefiting his own organisation, which is why they don’t necessarily find him as corrupt,” he said.

Sunday Independent

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