Johannesburg - The City of Joburg faces accusations of protecting member of the mayoral committee for economic development Nkululeko Mbundu in the case involving alleged bribery of R3 000 and whiskey.
The Sunday Independent has established that following claims by Mbundu that a senior manager in one of the entities under his portfolio tried to bribe him, a disciplinary process was instituted against the individual.
The employee was cleared of any wrongdoing by the chairperson of the disciplinary hearing.
The report was handed over to the City, but they were dissatisfied with the outcome and sought a legal opinion on the findings.
Sources in the City this week claimed that the reason for seeking a legal opinion was to protect Mbundu and get rid of the official whose name is known to the publication.
“They are doing everything to protect Mbundu despite the finding that his bribery allegations did not make sense,” said a source speaking on the condition of anonymity.
According to the source, the chairperson found no logical explanation for the manager bribing Mbundu.
However, the legal opinion and report compiled by the City’s legal department felt that the manager was trying to bribe Mbundu.
It has been said that the R3 000 bribe and a bottle of whiskey were to ensure Mbundu renewed the Metropolitan Trading Company’s wi-fi contract.
Joburg mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse’s spokesperson Mabine Seabe this week said there was nothing untoward with the actions taken by the City.
“There was a disciplinary enquiry. Surprisingly, the presiding officer concluded that Mr... was not guilty of the charges.
“Accordingly, an opinion was sought on whether such a ruling was appealable and whether the prospects of an appeal would be favourable,” he said.
Seabe said the final report on the disciplinary process was shared with councillors along with the legal opinion to assist them in deciding the way forward.
“The City disagreed with the presiding officer’s ruling in the disciplinary hearing of Mr..... and requested advice from senior counsel.
“The opinion is that the ruling could be reviewed.
“Therefore, the council resolved that an application for the review of the ruling be instituted.
“All information was provided to all decision-making structures of the City.
“The matter is sub judice; therefore, the City cannot provide any further information at this stage,” he said.
Mbundu has recently found himself in the firing line with complaints about his actions and conduct being reported to the National Treasury and Speaker of council.
In one instance, he was accused of meddling in the procurement process of the Joburg Property Company (JPC), and National Treasury wrote a letter advising the City to lay criminal charges against him.
That was after a meeting recording showed Mbundu instructing members of the JPC to start the process of appointing service providers and calling for the inclusion of others who were not initially shortlisted.
Regarding the matter, Seabe said the ethics committee was handling it but could not say if the City had opened a case against him as advised by National Treasury.
“The matter is before the ethics committee.
“The outcome of the committee’s processes will determine whether charges should be laid,” he said.