JOHANNESBURG city mayor Herman Mashaba appears to be ‘kicking butts and taking names’ following a few successes relating to corruption noticed in January.
The city’s number one was proud to announce on Monday (January 29) that two city employees were suspended for fraudulently transferring R800 000 into an attorney’s trust account.
The two employees are reported to have been working for the city’s group finance department.
It was found that the two were part of a syndicate of internal and external individuals, who swindled money from a customer’s account to an attorney’s trust account.
The city in a statement said their focus was to recover the money from the attorney. Criminal charges will be laid against both the internal and external individuals in the suspected syndicate.
This followed another case where the city was proud to announce the conviction of the former director of the department of economic development. The city said the director was found guilty of dishonesty and wrongful influence over the allocation of tenders.
A few days later the assistant director of trade and investment, who was scheduled for a disciplinary hearing outcome for her involvement in the matter, handed in her resignation with immediate effect prior to the outcome of her disciplinary hearing.
The city has instituted criminal charges with police against both the former director and assistant director of trade and investment and will pursue the recovery of city funds which were transferred to the two officials’ personal accounts and accounts linked to companies they had vested interest in, but failed to declare.
A third bust was when a city official was arrested by the Hawks on January 22. The arrest was for a city official working in the revenue department as an assistant director for stakeholder management and two members of the public.
They were arrested by the Hawks for attempting to solicit a bribe of R2 500 from a resident in Selby.
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.
More than 15 officials have been arrested from the finance department for fraud and corruption.
On January 17 the mayor’s office said the former MMC of housing and an accomplice were also arrested for the illegal sale of a city-owned property stand in the south of Johannesburg.
The pair handed themselves over to the police in Lenasia on the morning of January 17.
The MMC had served as the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Housing under the previous administration led by Clr Parks Tau.
The suspects are facing charges of fraud and corruption.
The brazen chutzpah by the mayor has been criticized before by the previous administration and the public but appears to be slowly gaining steady and much-needed momentum.
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