Tainted officials get new jobs

Two officials at the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality, who have recently been reappointed into senior positions, have been implicated in a long-awaited Special Investigative Unit (SIU) report into allegations of corruption in the lead-up to the World Cup.

In 2010 former president Jacob Zuma directed the SIU to investigate allegations of tender corruption, conflicts of interest and employment of relatives by officials in the metro. The report was delivered to Zuma in 2016.

But, says the metro’s spokesperson, Themba Gadebe, Ekurhuleni only received the report this September, after the two had been reappointed.

The SIU investigation found that more than a dozen officials had been implicated in an array of criminal offences.

Some of the officials are already before the courts on criminal charges and the Asset Forfeiture Unit has seized the assets of others who benefited unduly.

The report states that Joe Mojapelo, the general manager for Ekurhuleni’s 2010 World Cup special project, was involved in the unjustifiable appointment of TS Records to handle Ekurhuleni’s marketing and communication strategy.

The now defunct company belonged to Sbusiso Leope and Thembinkosi Nciza.

“Councillor Izak Berg received an anonymous letter alleging that TS Records was paid R4-million within a period of two months during March and April 2009. It was further alleged that the 2010 office utilised … policy to deviate from normal procurement processes in appointing TS Records without justiciable grounds for deviation,” reads the report.

Mojapelo resigned from the metro when the investigation began in 2010.

Last year, the Mail & Guardian reported that audit firm Indyebo Consulting had made damning findings against Mojapelo for his role of awarding the contract to TS Records. These findings were given to the metro two weeks before he resigned. In June, Mojapelo was re-employed as the metro’s chief operations officer.

READ MORE: World Cup probe dogs Mojapelo

Faith Mabindisa, who was also implicated in the report, was appointed the head of the department of the waste and environmental services from August this year.

When the metro was asked how the two were reappointed when serious allegations were yet to be resolved, Gadebe said the 2010 investigation was into projects and not individuals.

Mabindisa, who also left when the investigation started, was found by the SIU to have approved payment into the bank account of a waste company that did not do work for the metro. The company was involved in “cover quoting” — the manipulation of the three-quote procurement system by submitting quotations by several companies owned by the same people. In essence, this is fraud.

She moved to the Tshwane municipality where she left while undergoing a disciplinary process for allegations of misconduct. Spokesperson for the municipality, Selby Bokaba, said the city had no record of a SIU report on allegations of wrong doing against Mabindisa prior to recruiting her. “However, the City of Tshwane investigated allegations of misconduct against Mabindisa,” he said.

Meanwhile Gabede said the report’s recommendations, to institute disciplinary charges against the pair and report implicated companies to the treasury to be placed on a database of restricted suppliers, could only be implemented once
the report was placed before the council, which was expected to happen at this month’s meeting.

Two months ago, the director general of the presidency, Cassius Lubisi, wrote to the metro to request an update on what steps had been taken in implementing the report’s recommendations, adding: “Should the municipality not have acted upon the SIU’s recommendations, the president would appreciate it if you could furnish him with written reasons for such inaction.”

It is unclear why the presidency sent the letter when the report had yet to be given to the municipality. Questions to the presidency had not been answered by the time of publication.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Athandiwe Saba
Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba is a multi award-winning journalist who is passionate about data, human interest issues, governance and everything that isn’t on social media. She is an author, an avid reader and trying to find the answer to the perfect balance between investigative journalism, online audiences and the decline in newspaper sales. It’s a rough world and a rewarding profession.

Related stories

Zondo tightens his grip with criminal complaint against Zuma

The state capture commission’s star witness now faces a criminal complaint and another summons

Masterclasses in duck-and-dive

You didn’t need to be a genius or a prophet to predict that Bushiri would run or that Zuma would stall

Zondo dismisses Zuma’s recusal application

The summons to compel the former president to appear before the state capture commission stands, says legal head

Eusebius McKaiser: Zuma’s recusal case is utterly unconvincing

The legal arguments put forward by the former president’s team are weak and inconsistent

Legal bias doctrine basis of Zuma’s recusal application to Zondo

The former president’s advocate and commission lawyers were embroiled in a showdown of who best argued the apprehension of bias doctrine

Zondo: Zuma was MEC, not president so he couldn’t boost my judicial career

The application for the state capture commission chair to recuse himself lays bare the history of the two men

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

Sudan’s government gambles over fuel-subsidy cuts — and people pay...

Economists question the manner in which the transitional government partially cut fuel subsidies

Traditional healers need new spaces

Proper facilities supported by well-researched cultural principles will go a long way to improving the image and perception of the practice of traditional medicine

Did Botswana execute ‘poachers’ ?

The Botswana Defence Force’s anti-poaching unit has long been accused of a ‘shoot to kill’ policy. Over 20 years the unit has killed 30 Namibians and 22 Zimbabweans

Limpopo big-game farmer accused of constant harassment

A family’s struggle against alleged intimidation and failure to act by the authorities mirrors the daily challenges farm dwellers face

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…