/ 3 August 2017

Mashaba removes Economic Development MMC for alleged misconduct


City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba on Wednesday removed mayoral committee member for economic development, Sharon Peetz for “suspected misconduct”.

Peetz allegedly falsified a proof of payment to a travel agency to appear that she, and not the city, paid for a family member to accompany her on an official trip to Spain, Mashaba said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

“Through her actions, it is my belief that councillor Peetz has misled myself, the council and the residents of Johannesburg.”

He said a forensic investigation revealed that the payment is still outstanding to the travel agency and that the city has not suffered any monetary losses.

Mashaba appointed Mpho Phalatse as acting mayoral committee member for economic development while a new candidate is considered.

Peetz, a Democratic Alliance (DA) member, has been referred to the party for consideration of further disciplinary action in order to determine her culpability.

She did not respond to messages from News24.

Mashaba said under his leadership the DA-run municipality would not tolerate such conduct, irrespective of political affiliation.

“A new era of accountability has dawned in the City of Johannesburg. Unfortunately, this has not yet removed the dishonesty that drives the actions of some individuals. It does, however, mean that wherever it is found, action will be taken and our residents will be informed and treated with the respect that they deserve,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ANC has since called on Mashaba to step down, saying that although Peetz’s dismissal was long overdue, Mashaba’s act was an unimpressive publicity stunt.

They accused Mashaba of trying to cover for Peetz.

“[Mashaba] pretends to be a man of integrity yet he tried to cover up the story by agreeing with councillor Peetz to repay the money so that the matter could be laid to rest. We call on the mayor to also step down as he was part of a cover up mission to protect councillor Peetz,” the ANC said in a statement released on Thursday morning. – News24