Executive mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba in a statement on Wednesday confirmed rumours that he had fired his MMC for economic development, Sharon Peetz, “on grounds of suspected misconduct”.
He said the Federal Executive of the Democratic Alliance had agreed to this move.
“Councillor Peetz will be referred to the party for consideration of further disciplinary processes in order to determine her culpability.”
He said that she had “acted irregularly in arranging for a family member to accompany her on an official trip to Spain”, an allegation that was levelled against her in a council meeting earlier this year.
“Through a forensic investigation conducted at the time, it was determined that the City had not incurred any costs for the travel of the family member. It was therefore determined that the allegations levelled against the Cllr Peetz at the time were without merit.”
He said new evidence had, however, come to light that “the proof of payment between Cllr Peetz and the travel agent, which the councillor had provided to my office as proof that she had paid the travel agent, was allegedly falsified”.
He said further forensic investigation had been undertaken into the proof of payment. He stressed that the money concerned “remains allegedly owed to the travel agent, and it remains the case that the City has not incurred any losses”.
However, he said he felt the councillor had nevertheless “misled myself, the Council and the residents of Johannesburg”.
Mashaba added that he would not “tolerate such conduct” under his leadership.
“Irrespective of one’s role in the City, and irrespective of your political affiliation, there will be accountability for wrongdoing.”
He said the dishonesty of individuals was something the new administration had not yet been able to root out.
He said Dr Mpho Phalatse had agreed to act in the position while a replacement was sought.