DA calls for agency audit after Niehaus revelations

The Democratic Alliance on Friday called for a forensic audit into the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (Geda) while African National Congress spokesperson Carl Niehaus worked there after he admitted to forging signatures to secure a loan.

The party’s leader in the Gauteng legislature Jack Bloom said the fraud also implicated former provincial finance minister Paul Mashatile, now Gauteng premier.

“Niehaus says he confessed this fraud to Mashatile and was told to quit or face a disciplinary enquiry,” said Bloom.

“Mashatile clearly wished to cover up this embarrassing matter by an ANC cadre. This is reprehensible in itself, but he may also have committed a criminal offence in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, which makes it an offence not to report a corrupt act to the police.”

He is taking legal advice on laying a charge.

“The Auditor General should also conduct a forensic audit into the affairs of Geda during the seven months that Niehaus was in charge.”

He said Mashatile should have been at the forefront of exposing it, not covering it up.

“What more is there that we don’t know about?”

Niehaus told media that while overwhelmed by debt, he forged signatures to promise deals to a property company, in return for them lending him money, while he worked at Geda.

Within hours of doing this, he confessed to Mashatile and resigned.—Sapa

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