World Cup probe dogs Mojapelo

Seven years ago, Ekurhuleni Metro’s 2010 World Cup general manager, Joe Mojapelo, quit during a forensic probe into whether he manipulated tender processes. In April this year, he was rehired by the municipality as its chief operations officer.

The findings of the audit report were never released to the council, but the Mail & Guardian has seen copies of it and another investigative report, which reveal damning findings about Mojapelo’s role.

Ekurhuleni appointed audit firm Indyebo Consulting to investigate allegations made against Mojapelo, and the firm submitted its findings to Ekurhuleni on July 26 2010. Mojapelo had quit two weeks before.

Two months later, the city’s then chief audit executive, Harold Chiloane, submitted a memorandum to Khaya Ngema, the city manager at the time, recommending that the matter be referred to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

The investigation involved the validity of the expenditure incurred in the 2010 office. The audit, according to the Indyebo, “focused on the TS Records and greening of sports field projects”. The audit sought to determine whether there was fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and irregular and invalid costs.

Record and promotions company TS Records, now deregistered, was half owned by TK Nciza, who was later appointed ANC Ekurhuleni regional treasurer. The company was paid R5.4-million over nine months leading up to July 2009. A further R470 000 was paid between March and April that year.

The investigation found that the contract had been awarded through an “unjustified” deviation, which was prepared by Mojapelo. It made no findings against Nciza.

“The deviation was dated 21 months before the 2010 World Cup. There was nothing to indicate on TS Records’ company profile … that its service offering set it apart from other record and promotions companies. It did therefore not appear that this was an exceptional case where it was impractical or impossible to embark on a competitive bidding process,” the report reads.

It found there was no reason for the contract to have been awarded because of a deviation and was referred to the SIU for further investigation. It agreed that a deviation was unwarranted and said it was compiling evidence for proceedings to be instituted against Mojapelo.

Last week, Ekurhuleni’s Themba Gadebe said the city had not seen the report and could not comment.

Ekurhuleni insiders raised concerns about Mojapelo’s reappointment in May this year.

A circular sent out by the chairperson of union federation Cosatu’s Ekurhuleni cluster, Chris Mavunda, said Mojapelo’s appointment — one of two — was being challenged “politically and legally”. He said Cosatu had exhausted “every internal effort to resolve the matter without success”.

At time, the metro said the appointments had been made after a due diligence exercise had been done and had not uncovered any legal impediment to the appointments.

SIU spokesperson Nazreen Pandor confirmed that the investigation had been concluded but was unable to comment further as the report had been referred to the presidency.

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Sihle Manda
Sihle Manda is a senior reporter at the GCIS. He previously covered local government and investigations at The Mercury, The Star and the Mail & Guardian.

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