In a statement released late on Friday afternoon, Tshwane Executive Mayor Solly Msimanga has vowed to go after those in former mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa’s administration after evidence of massive looting in procurement was uncovered by investigative TV show CheckPoint.
They stand to be charged criminally.
The city’s statement said a report commissioned by the City of Tshwane has been completed and allegedly “reveals large-scale collusion and corruption in the gross inflation of various goods that were unlawfully procured by corrupt city officials”.
“As such the executive mayor and acting municipal manager (ACM), Lindiwe Kwele, will accordingly lay criminal charges against senior city officials implicated in the report. Executive Mayor Msimanga and the ACM will lay charges of corruption pursuant to section 12 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.”
The city says a “forensic investigation charged with probing the allegations of corruption, gross misconduct and wasteful expenditure in respect of overinflated prices of various items or goods procured … in respect of various items from various service providers, ie, Kiwi Polish, transformers, Handy Andy, lamp energy savers, paint, Saddle stainless steel, Surf powder soap, Sunlight liquid soap, shovels, toolboxes, wall plugs and chlorine”.
“One such example of this heinous inflation of prices is that the city under the leadership of Ramokgopa spent R300 on light bulbs that would have cost R79 at wholesale price.”
The new DA-led administration says the former senior managers and accounting officers “are likely to be charged for being in dereliction of their duties with respect to adhering to the prescripts of the MFMA and SCM practices for being aware of such collusion and corruption and failing to act appropriately. This constitutes misconduct.”
“As such ACM Kwele, acting on the instruction of the Executive Mayor, has already commenced pre-disciplinary hearing processes; and disciplinary proceedings will be instituted against those implicated officials in terms of the disciplinary procedures of the City of Tshwane for financial misconduct and maladministration.”
Msimanga said: “While I am unsurprised by the findings of this forensic investigation, I am disgusted and disappointed that public money meant for the provision of services for the law-abiding taxpayers was pilfered in such a gratuitous manner.
“This is indicative of the Ramokgopa administration’s penchant for abusing public funds for their own narrow self-interest at the expense of the city and the millions of residents who need basic services for everyday survival.
“I will not tolerate such rank abuse of public funds and those implicated in the report will answer for their part in what can only be termed as the looting of the city. Corruption will not stand a chance against this new administration. Of that I can assure our people.”
The city said Kwele would also:
- Institute civil proceedings against the implicated to recover any and all monies from the identified service providers and their cohort unduly benefited.
- Blacklist and remove the identified service providers and all accomplices from the municipal database.
- Further resource the internal control mechanisms to ensure that this looting of the city does not repeat itself.
- Appoint a chief buyer with the requisite competency and provide continuous training.