Senior journalist
2 minute read

Investigation into serious allegations against DA councillor

By Chris Ndaliso

A ward assistant claims that councillor Rachel Soobiah has been forcing her to pay half her salary into Soobiah's daughter's bank account.

DA ward councillor Rachel Soobiah.
DA ward councillor Rachel Soobiah. Photo: Supplied

Msunduzi’s internal audit unit is investigating allegations of harassment, intimidation and extortion against DA ward 30 councillor Rachel Soobiah.

The complainant in the matter is Joanne Gooli, a ward assistant, who claimed that Soobiah would force her to pay half of her salary into Soobiah’s daughter’s account.

Gooli said her ordeal started in January 2021 and she has lost R135 000 in salary over one year.

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The amounts paid varied between R7 000 and R10 000, according to Gooli.

I’m happy that the municipality is finally investigating this because it’s been difficult for me. I have obtained a protection order against [Soobiah] and I’ve also requested security from the municipality but that request has not been granted.

Soobiah hit back at Gooli, stating that she hoped the outcomes of the investigation would clear her name.

“Gooli was not just my ward assistant. She was a child I took in from the age of 15 years.

“When I moved out of my family house, Ms Gooli and my daughter decided to go and rent a house and stayed on their own. The monies that were deposited into my daughter’s account were for rent. I am waiting for the outcome of this investigation and hoping it sets the record straight.

Ms Gooli has not deposited monies into my account but into my daughter’s account and that was for rent.

She said the investigation was not a concern for her political career.

“Let’s wait for the outcome of the investigation and [then] the people will know the truth,” she said.

DA provincial leader Francois Rodgers said they were not aware of the allegations against Soobiah.

“As the provincial leadership, we believe in the rule of law and, if the investigation proves that there were any contraventions, then the law will have to take its course. For now, we will wait for the outcome of the investigation and action will be taken based on that,” said Rodgers.

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Msunduzi speaker Eunice Majola said they attended to the matter as soon as it was reported to her office.

We cannot allow something like this to happen, so we tabled the issue in the rules and ethics committee where it was recommended that the matter be taken to the city’s internal audit unit for investigation. Unfortunately, we, as councillors, have no control of the processes of that unit, so we have to wait for the outcome of the investigation and then necessary action will be taken.