Public protector accuses Herman Mashaba of unlawful appointments when he was mayor
At least two officials were unlawfully appointed in the City of Joburg during the tenure of former executive mayor Herman Mashaba, who allegedly also entered into the procurement space and solicited free services.
These were of former Joburg metro police department head David Tembe, executive director of housing Moses Mtileni, and the appointment of KPMG to conduct certain investigations in various departments.
Mashaba was under investigation after more than two complaints were bought to the office of the public protector over alleged irregular appointment of staff, financial mismanagement, irregular increases and conflict of interest.
The revelations were made by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Monday as she released 14 investigation reports for the 2020/2021 financial year.
“Following a rigorous investigation by the Gauteng public protector office, we are making the following findings,” said Mkhwebane.
“The city improperly or irregularly and appointed Mr Mtileni ... Mr Tembe ... The city improperly or irregularly appointed, without following due process, KMPG to conduct investigations in various departments, as for clearly different assignments which would require different expertise, without advertising the tender as required by the Municipal Finance Management Act and supply chain management regulations.
“The former executive mayor, Mr Mashaba, unlawfully and irregularly entered the procurement space and solicited free services from Lephatse Financial Services.”
The appointment of former city manager Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni was also the subject of the report.
The report also found that Mashaba interfered or influenced the city's allocation of funding to youth drug rehabilitation to fund an NGO “which he said was for his own personal project”.
Mashaba has responded to Mkhwebane's report, which he said tarnished his name, and intends to challenge it in court.
“On advice of legal counsel, I will not address any of the matters contained in the report as these matters have been sufficiently refuted in the past,” said Mashaba in a statement.
“Our focus now proceeds to initiating a full high court legal review of the public protector’s report and to seek a cost order against the public protector or her office in this matter. Our legal team has been instructed to provide notice to the office of the public protector of our intention to review the report.
“I am a strong believer that political leaders must clear their names in the courts of our country, in full scrutiny of the media and the people of SA.”
Following the findings of the report, Mkhwebane has ruled that action must be taken with 60 working days. Some of her recommendations include:
- that all City of Joburg officials, including management who were involved in the recruitment processes, attend a workshop on recruitment and selection procedures;
- that her report be sent to the mayor for “disciplinary action to be taken”;
- that the city disclose all irregular expenditure incurred in connection with the irregular appointment of Mtileni, Tembe and irregular extension of the contract of KMPG to the council and the Treasury; and
- that the CFO of the city amend the closing balance of the current financial statements to include the irregular expenditure in the previous financial statements.