The Mail & Guardian reported two weeks ago that Hawks investigators were probing Shadow Shabangu. This came after a charge was laid against him in October last year by Ekurhuleni council speaker, Patricia Kumalo, who said councillors had mandated her to pursue criminal proceedings against Shabangu.
Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale confirmed the investigations against Shabangu, who has maintained that he knew nothing about the Ekurhuleni-commissioned report, despite it saying that he had been interviewed during the process. The M&G has seen the report.
The probe was related to the development of the Springs Mall, which opened in March 2017 and was constructed by Blue Crane Eco Mall. Shabangu, the report found, received “kickbacks” worth R1.2-million for work he allegedly was not qualified for and should have done for free, according to the investigation, because he was an elected representative from the area.
Paul Gerard from Flanagan & Gerard Property Development, who spoke on the mall’s behalf, said Shabangu was employed as a “community liaison officer”, and was paid “for all the duties that he performed in the mall”.
The first assignment in Shabangu’s “facilitation agreement”, according to the findings, was to “act as the local representative of the developer” in the area.
“The above could be taken to be in direct conflict with his role as a representative of the people in the municipality. It shows that he had switched his allegiance from protecting the interests of the people to representing those of the developer,” reads the report.
It goes further to add that between July and August 2017, Shabangu bought a Ford Territory SUV for his wife worth R100 000, which was found to have been “from the proceeds of this corrupt activity”.
DA Gauteng leader Fred Nel said this week that, although the report was “critical of Shabangu”, no adverse findings were made against the councillor.
“The matter, therefore, was referred to our federal legal commission to investigate misconduct. Shabangu was found guilty of misconduct, and the sentence was a fine,” Nel said.
“The [Ekurhuleni] report was used in evidence in the case against Shabangu by the [commission] and was therefore considered as part of the finding against him,” Nel said.
“The DA takes any charges of fraud or corruption extremely seriously and remains committed in our fight against it. Where this occurs in our ranks, we have always proven that we take strong action against anyone found guilty of fraud or corruption.”