City official and two accomplices arrested for corruption

CONCERNED: Executive mayor Clr Herman Mashaba said he is disappointed with some officials within the City who continue to steal and deprive the residents of quality services. Photo: Lucky Thusi.

A CITY official working within the Revenue Department as an assistant director for Stakeholder Management and two members of the public were arrested on January 22 by the Hawks for attempting to solicit a bribe of R2 500 from a resident in Selby.

The two officials are former employees of an independent contractor who used to provide electricity disconnection services to City Power.

Executive mayor Clr Herman Mashaba said the City has uncovered fraud and corruption worth R16.2-billion since the establishment of Group Forensic and Investigation Services (GFIS). The finance department accounted for more than R8-b.

“I am disappointed that there are still some officials within the City, especially the finance department, who continue to steal and deprive the residents of quality services. More than 15 officials have been arrested from the finance department for fraud and corruption.

“I am informed that the resident, who is a complainant in this matter, approached the GFIS team on January 19 after she allegedly paid R18 000 for water and lights of a certain school in Selby where she is a director,” explained Mashaba.

Services were disconnected on January 19 despite her paying recently. It is alleged that she was referred to Thuso House where she was assisted by the official who demanded R5 000 to reconnect the services.

The complainant then agreed to the demands and the services were reconnected on January 20. She then told the officials, who pretended to be working for a contractor which disconnects services, that she doesn’t have money and they should come back on Monday.

A sting operation was then set up by GFIS and the Hawks.

The two officials collected R2 500 from the complainant and the Hawks pounced on them. After they were arrested they then phoned the City official and told him that they collected R2 500. Not knowing that he was on loudspeaker, the official instructed his two accomplices to deposit R1 500 into his account and share the R1 000 among themselves.

He was then called in by the members of the Hawks and was arrested upon his arrival.

The team also established that the City official had been providing his accomplices with information on accounts which were in arrears. The accomplices would then go to the addresses provided and try to solicit bribes from residents.

“I would like to commend the resident who refused to be part of any corrupt activity and reported the matter to our team which acted swiftly to deal with the matter.

“In the context of the City’s billing challenges, acts of corruption only serve to worsen the difficult circumstances which our residents have been forced to live under for years. Under the previous administration, this sort of conduct would have gone rewarded with a slap on the wrist. No more.

“Corruption has no place in this administration and we will work tirelessly, and in collaboration with institutions such as the Hawks, to ensure that it is eradicated and that residents of Johannesburg receive the quality services they deserve.

“I would also like to encourage people to report any fraud and corruption activities through our 24-hour tip-off hotline 0800 002 587 or visit the GFIS offices situated at 48 Ameshoff Street in Braamfontein,” pleaded the mayor.

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Lucky Thusi
News Editor

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