Joburg official fired after swindling Cosmo City residents

29 January 2018 - 17:36
By Neo Goba
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.
Image: Sunday Times Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba's vow to fight corruption in the Democratic Alliance-led metro appears to be yielding positive results – at least for now.

Mashaba announced on Monday that an employee is his administration was dismissed after allegedly being involved in a scam which swindled residents of Cosmo City.

"I will not allow a situation where corrupt employees are allowed to resign without facing internal disciplinary procedures. Where corruption is uncovered‚ swift action must be taken. The city will seek to open a criminal case and ensure that those implicated face the full might of the law‚" Mashaba said.

This follows a breakthrough of a scam that started when Ekhaya Health Centre‚ a training college‚ approached Cosmo City Multipurpose Centre officials in order to obtain the use of the centre for the provision of nursing classes which were to be offered to the community.

As per norm‚ services offered through the City of Joburg community centres are free to the public. The agreement entered into with Ekhaya Health Centre was based on an understanding that their training would also be free‚ the mayor said.

Mashaba said that after a few months it emerged that the now former city employee colluded with Ekhaya Health Centre management and demanded money from prospective students.

"Seven students paid R36 000 for training‚ but never completed their studies after classes were suspended. It also emerged that the former employee allegedly received R18 000 as part of the deal. Today‚ I called for immediate action to be taken‚" Mashaba said.

"I am also demanding a detailed explanation from the Executive Head of Social Development and line managers as to why the implicated employee was allowed to tender a resignation and serve notice‚" he added.

He also promised the students' families which were affected by this to retrieve their money.

When Mashaba was sworn in as Johannesburg mayor‚ he promised to address the city's "public enemy number one – corruption" and set the tone for a business-like approach to fixing Johannesburg's problems.

To date‚ there has been at least five city officials that have been fired by Mashaba since ascending to the mayoral seat.