A forensic probe found that DA councillor Shadow Shabangu received R1.2 million from Blue Crane Eco Mall.
A forensic probe found that DA councillor Shadow Shabangu received R1.2 million from Blue Crane Eco Mall.

DA accused of being soft on members embroiled in alleged corrupt dealings

By Khaya Koko Time of article published Feb 24, 2020

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Johannesburg - Despite criminal charges laid against a DA councillor for allegedly accepting bribes worth R1.2million, the party has only fined him - drawing allegations that it is soft on corruption.

The speaker's office in the City of Ekurhuleni confirmed that it had opened a case against DA councillor Shadow Shabangu after he was found by a council-commissioned forensic investigation to have received R1.2million from Blue Crane Eco Mall.

The company built the Springs Mall which opened in March 2017.

“In 2016, although Shabangu disclosed that he had earned R1.2m through consulting services, he did not disclose that these earnings were from a company that was developing a mall within Ekurhuleni and, indeed, within his jurisdiction,” read the forensic report.

Shabangu was also embroiled in the alleged sexual harassment of a female DA councillor.

Last week, Sphelele Nxele, spokesperson for council Speaker Patricia Kumalo, said a council meeting held in October had adopted the forensic report and made recommendations thereto, including criminal charges.

“Council recommended that the speaker opens a case, which she subsequently opened with the SAPS in Germiston in October.

“The process is therefore in the hands of law enforcement and council cannot dictate SAPS’s internal processes,” Nxele added.

The Star sent questions to Shabangu as well as DA Federal Council chairperson Helen Zille.

Responding on their behalf, DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said the party had acted on the damning allegations against Shabangu.

“As a party of due process and which respects the rule of law, the party rightfully initiated investigations when both separate allegations were reported.

“With regards to the first set of allegations (on bribes), the party’s investigation found Mr Shabangu guilty for bringing the party into disrepute and was issued the sanction of a fine,” Malatsi said, without revealing how much the fine was.

On the sexual harassment allegations, Malatsi said: “The investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment found that there was insufficient evidence to support the claims. In both instances, the party initiated investigations, did so thoroughly and made reasonable findings based on the evidence available.

"As a party we take sexual harassment seriously to the extent that up until recently we were the only political party with a sexual harassment policy.”

However, a DA insider said Shabangu had a hold over the party because it expelled Joburg councillor Anthony Still for not towing the line in collapsing the city’s agenda and ensuring there was always a quorum to advance service delivery.

Still had repeatedly defied the DA in Joburg by not walking out in order to allegedly disrupt the now ANC-governed City.

“For me, I’m just disturbed by the fact that the DA is keeping Shabangu in a front-facing position as ward councillor, despite knowing he accepts bribes,” said the insider, who asked to remain anonymous.

The Star

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