This follows the initiation of a Municipal Systems Act probe by Co-operative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements MEC Dikgang Moiloa, who stressed that he was empowered by the constitution and legislation to investigate Joburg and that he was not there to “appease” Mashaba.
In January, The Star reported that Joburg’s elite corruption-busting unit - the Group Forensic and Investigation Service (GFIS) - had allegedly accrued more than R100m in maladministration in two years due to an alleged over-reliance on external consulting firms to conduct probes in the city.
This was according to the city’s internal documents, where a GFIS director stated in a note that, due to a lack of capacity, the department was “forced to make use of consultancy firms specialising in forensic fraud examinations”.
The city vehemently denied these allegations, saying they had accrued only R12m in wasteful expenditure.
However, Moiloa initiated section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act to probe the city’s books, which drew the ire of Mashaba.
“Section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act is not a decoration in the laws which govern local government.
“It is legislation which has been there for a reason, and that reason is that once there are allegations of maladministration from any quarter - whether from a newspaper, groups of people, councillors or any citizen - the MEC in charge of local government is obligated, in terms of the legislation, to investigate,” Moiloa emphasised.
“Mr Mashaba must know that he is governing in a country which is governed on the basis of the principle of the rule of law.
“And that rule is also based on section 106,” he added.
Mashaba, however, called this investigation an abuse of the law’s provisions, adding that Moiloa was waging “a political war” against Joburg’s multiparty government.
“If one was to assess the dates and in which municipalities in Gauteng these processes are being instituted, I believe you would discover the political motives behind MEC Moiloa’s actions,” Mashaba charged.
The mayor said he would write a formal complaint to Premier David Makhura.
Mashaba’s spokesperson Luyanda Mfeka said: “The executive mayor has had a verbal engagement with the Premier regarding the matter.“
Moiloa said he had received submissions made by Mashaba on the investigation, and would reveal details of it as soon as this process was concluded.