Tshwane city manager Moeketsi Mosola is heading to court in a bid to stop a preliminary report into the GladAfrica scandal being handed out in council.
Mosola is seeking to have the matter heard on Thursday, which is the same day the report is expected to be shared with the capital city’s councillors.
GladAfrica, an engineering company, and the city have been at the centre of allegations of tender irregularities for the past two months, following reports that it scored a R12-billion deal to provide the city with project management support.
In August, Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga attempted to suspend Mosola on the back of the allegations but was unsuccessful. The Tshwane council, however, agreed to an independent investigation into the matter on September 10.
The move by Mosola has largely been seen as a delaying tactic, with some saying they believed the preliminary report contained damning findings against him.
In his founding affidavit, Mosola writes that he has no quarrel with the council’s decision to investigate the allegations of misconduct in the GladAfrica transaction. He adds, however, that he disputes the legality and the lawfulness of the process that council has chosen to follow.
He says that council’s failure to invoke the investigative mechanisms in the Municipal Finance Management Act renders the council’s current investigation unlawful. He asks the court to compel the respondents, named as the speaker of the Tshwane municipality, the executive mayor of the city and the municipality, to launch the investigation under the provisions of this act.
He further asks that the costs of the application be paid for by the respondents.
“I stand to suffer irreparable harm if the relief I seek is not granted”, he writes.
“Given its partisan nature, it is unlikely (though of course a possibility) that the investigation could exonerate me. It is also possible that the investigation could illegitimately find misconduct on my part. Whatever the result, the investigation remains illegitimate and this causes irreparable harm to myself,” Mosola further said.
He adds that the if the investigation exonerates him it is unlikely to be accepted by Msimanga.
City to oppose interdict
Msimanga in a statement issued on Wednesday said his office would oppose the interdict “in the interests of getting to the bottom of this matter and accounting to council and the ratepayers of Tshwane who deserve to know the truth”.
He added that Mosola’s actions were at odds with his public statements made on August 15 2018, where he stated that “it is therefore my conclusion that the process that was followed in appointing Ariya Project Managers (GladAfrica) was in compliance with the legislative prescripts governing the city of Tshwane’s Supply Chain Management, as well as the Municipal Finance Management Act”.
“It is therefore puzzling that he would seek to interdict this report on the eve of it serving before council for deliberation, particularly after committing to submit all the necessary documentation surrounding this contract for public scrutiny,” Msimanga said.
“One has to wonder if this is a commitment to transparency or the mere appearance thereof,” he concluded. — News24