Makhubo’s claim that R172m was lost to corruption under DA angers ex MMC
Johannesburg - Joburg mayor Geoff Makhubo’s assertions that R172million was “corruptly” wasted by his predecessor's administration have drawn the ire of Michael Sun, the city’s former public safety head.
Sun, who was the member of the mayoral committee for public safety during former mayor Herman Mashaba’s tenure, rebuked Makhubo for saying that “not a single fire engine” was delivered in Joburg under the previous administration.
On Wednesday, Makhubo said Joburg’s emergency management services (EMS) had five fire engines to service 5million residents, despite R172m being paid upfront to a service provider in alleged contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act.
“To make matters worse, the specifications upon which this corrupt procurement was made do not meet the operational requirements of the EMS,” Makhubo had said.
He added that 19 auxiliary services vehicles did not meet specifications and were being retrofitted at an apparent cost of R48m.
But Sun came out guns blazing in an interview with The Star on Thursday saying they inherited EMS problems from the ANC administration when they came into office in August 2016.
Sun urged the mayor to prioritise the EMS and allocate enough money to fix the fire engines.
“I don’t know the 19 auxiliary vehicles he is referring to. We had about 15 kit units which are Land Rovers to deal with your informal settlements, bushfire and grass fires”, Sun said.
EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said the city was operating on five fire engines located in Cosmo City, Soweto, Florida, Joburg CBD and Lawley. Mulaudzi refused to comment on the procurement of fire engines under the previous administration.
Sun refuted the allegations that there was political interference at the Joburg metro police department (JMPD) to suit the office of Mashaba and political allies, as alleged by Makhubo.
Sun said Makhubo had to explain where the political interference came from. “We certainly gave political direction, we gave political guidance, we launched the JMPD K9, and we launched the anti-fraud hotline and reaction unit."
Makhubo revealed that 1500 JMPD recruits were deployed without completing their training modules, and were sent back to the training academy. But Sun said he didn’t know why they were ordered to return for training.
JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said the recruits weren’t provided with adequate training.
He said they were sent back to the academy to complete their driving, directing traffic and firearm training.