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Opposition parties call for ‘Whiskey’ MMC to leave chambers

MMC for Economic Development Nkululeko Mbundu .Image: file

MMC for Economic Development Nkululeko Mbundu .Image: file

Published Jun 23, 2022

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Chaos reigned at the City of Joburg’s council meeting in Braamfontein yesterday as opposition parties demanded that an Action SA councillor accused of corruption be removed from the meeting.

Opposition parties sang and offered countless points of order in protest of MMC Nkululeko Mbundu participating in the council meeting while under investigation concerning interference in the city’s procurement processes.

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This is not the first time that Mbundu has been involved in allegations of corruption. Earlier this year Mbundu who is the MMC for Economic Development was involved in a bribery scandal that saw a city official being suspended for allegedly trying to bribe him with a bottle of whiskey and R3000.

Mbundu had accused the official of trying to convince him that the Metropolitan Trading Company should be retained as the provider of citywide wi-fi and related services in the municipality.

Some had accused Mbundu of being complicit in the bribe since his wife had told him to return the money and whiskey.

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Opposition parties complained that Mbundu had meddled in a Soweto tender worth millions. The Star understands that the National Treasury had also written a letter to the mayor of the City Mpho Phalatse asking her to take action against Mbundu.

In the council opposition parties chanted “Whiskey must go” but the speaker of council Vasco da Gama said his office was handling the matter and that investigations had not been concluded.

This led to more complaints by the opposition parties such as Al Jamah’s Thepelo Amad who was nearly kicked out of the meeting for objecting to Mbundu’s participation in the meeting.

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Speaking to The Star after the meeting Amad said if the DA and the Multi Party Coalition were serious about corruption they would remove Mbundu from his position.

“The council descended into chaos because there are state organs who made recommendations such as the Treasury which is mandated by Parliament and the office of the Public Protector (PP) ; these organs are independent of the City. The City has been told to open criminal cases against Mbundu,” Amad said.

He said it was irresponsible for the mayor to keep Mbundu in the executive committee despite the serious allegations he faces.

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“This guy is not an ordinary councillor like ourselves. He takes critical decisions on behalf of the City and the residents.”

Amad said it was not a coincidence that Mbundu was involved in controversies concerning tenders and financial misconduct.

“He said he was bribed but he took the money home and he took the whiskey home until the wife told him to bring it back. Then there was the tender in Kliptown,” Amad said.

The debate in the meeting also concerned the 130 workers that had lost their jobs after being told that their contracts were illegal. Many of the workers were linked to the ANC. Opposition parties expressed concern over posts that had not been filled in the City. There were also concerns about senior managers who were in acting positions.

While the debate took different turns the mayor was off sick. Some members of the opposition parties accused the mayor of running away from questions about an alleged trip he was supposed to take to Israel.

A motion of no confidence against the speaker of council and the mayor was also expected.

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