Whether Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba is voted out today or not, heads will continue to roll in the city’s wide-ranging anti-corruption drive.
That’s the vow from the city’s head of the forensic department and anti-corruption unit, Shadrack Sibiya, who says his mandate to root out corruption is not linked to the tenure of the mayor.
But Sibiya is confident Mashaba will survive the attempt to unseat him in today’s no-confidence motion. Mashaba was yesterday upbeat, saying it was not up to the ANC to oust him.
“I was elected by 52% of council members to lead. My standing and existence and continuation to be the executive mayor is dependent on that 52%. It’s not up to me.”
Sibiya’s spokesperson, Lucky Sindane, said yesterday: “As a unit we do not have a political mandate; we are officials, not politicians and we continue and nothing will change. We have many cases even as we speak that we need to finalise.
We have more than 2 500 cases pending and we have uncovered R16.2 billion worth of corruption. In the next week we have a case going to court of a building hijacking kingpin and his co-accused.”
Mashaba, as well as council speaker Vasco da Gama, will today face a second vote on a motion of no confidence in them, tabled by the ANC.
According to the ANC, the city’s main opposition, several parties would vote in favour of the motion and negotiations in this regard were under way yesterday.
Jolidee Matongo, spokesperson for the ANC in Johannesburg, said the party was also confident that at least 15 DA councillors would vote with them.
“We have the support of the African Independent Congress and the Patriotic Alliance and are currently in talks with the IFP and Al Jamahl. Altogether that would be about 131 seats out of 279. All we need is a simple majority.”
But it was unclear whether the EFF, who would again be the likely kingmakers to save Mashaba’s position, were still committed to siding with the party they helped get elected into power last year.
The parties’ spokespersons were unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.
While Mashaba’s administration has been lauded for its apparent clean-up operation, uncovering mass-scale corruption allegations and having already seen more than 100 city employees arrested, suspended or fired, Matongo said this was all a smokescreen to hide the fact that, according the ANC, the city’s finances were dire straits.
He claimed Mashaba has yet to provide substantial evidence that nearly R17 billion had been squandered by the previous administration.
“We have asked for a report detailing the number of cases and who was implicated and what the amounts were in each case. If there really is R17 billion missing from the city, we would have gone under administration a long time ago.”
Detailing some of the reasons the party wanted Mashaba out, Matongo named the pace at which the city had bled money and sunk into debt.
The ANC will release a report after tomorrow’s meeting with evidence of the extent of financial strain the city was in. “When we left the city in August, it had a healthy bank balance.
Now, the major entities in the city that generate money … are all running on overdraft.
“City Power is in the red by R1.3 billion because of failing to collect revenue – and the billing crisis is a dire situation,” Matongo said.