Opposition parties in the Joburg Council are calling for an immediate suspension of City of Joburg’s Economic Development MMC Nkululeko Mbundu amid serious allegations of corruption levelled against him.
The opportition also accused City of Joburg executive mayor Mpho Phalatse of turning a blind eye.
Mbundu is ActionSA’s councillor and is part of the multiparty government led by the DA in the City.
He is accused of meddling in municipal tender processes that are supposed to be handled by the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC).
The city confirmed that Mbundu is under investigation by council Speaker Vasco da Gama’s office for allegedly breaching the Municipal Finance Management Act.
“The silence by Phalatse against the damning allegations of improper conduct by Mbundu is worrisome. The failure of Phalatse to act against Mbundu soils the good governance rhetoric she’s been pushing since coming into office,” said shadow MMC for Economic Development councillor Tefo Raphadu.
Raphadu further said “National Treasury has weighed into the Improper Interference by Mbudu in the Procurement Process of the JPC. It is in contravention of Chapter 15
Municipal Finance Management Act. The interference by the MMC to meet and discuss the Bill of Quantity (BOQ) with the Quantity Surveyor is irregular and outside his role and responsibility as MMC. BOQ and procurement processes are the sole responsibility of Supply Chain Management”.
Raphadu said there are calls for the process to be nullified and restarted.
“With regard to the current bidders, there is no way of telling who the information of the BOQ has been shared with and thus subsequently taints the fairness of the entire process,” added Raphundu
Raphundu said that the ANC has opened a criminal case against Mbundu and that they trust law enforcement agencies to act and deal with the matter.
He said that the ANC has faith that these institutions will conclude that Mbundu’s conduct is tantamount to collusion, fraud and corruption in the interference of tender processes within the City of Joburg.
“The ANC Joburg Caucus reiterates its call to Mayor Phalatse, that MMC Mbundu be suspended with immediate effect. The multiparty government led by the DA must not protect its position to remain in government by shielding those who are corrupt,” Raphadu said.
However Phalatse’s office said the matter is being properly investigated and Mbundu is complying.
“Phalatse has requested that Mbundu provide her with a detailed account of events, with accompanying details and documents as the MMC has contended that, inter alia, some of the allegations are a product of fabrication. Phalatse is satisfied that the investigation will proceed accordingly in order to ascertain the facts and discrepancies of the allegations made,” said Mayoral spokesperson Mabine Seabe.
Seabe said Phalatse can assure residents of Joburg that once the report on the investigation has been completed and it has been processed through council, they will communicate its outcomes and the actions that will be taken.
Al Jama-ah Gauteng Provincial Secretary councillor Kabelo Gwamanda said the problem with this particular matter is that there is compelling evidence about Mbundu.
“This is not the first time that the MMC is being caught up in a corruption scandal, yet Phalatse as opposed to taking a leadership role and doing oversight over her MMC because they have her delegated powers meaning that she is complicit to having them remain in office to perform their duties on behalf of the city.
If there is an investigation instituted against a member of a mayoral committee the mayor has to put them on suspension pending the outcome of the investigation so as to protect the integrity of the city. The fact that the speaker is responsible for the issue is the shift of responsibility from an individual refusing to take accountability and oversight over her delegated authority in MMC’s,” said Gwamanda.
ActionSA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson Bongani Baloyi said the party’s leadership has made it clear to Mbundu that any wrongdoing will be acted upon without hesitation should any evidence to the contrary come to light.
“ActionSA is committed to providing ethical leadership to the people they serve. We will ensure that our representatives submit to any investigation and provide the highest levels of transparency,” said Baloyi.