Former City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has struck a defiant tone following reports that National Treasury has ordered a forensic investigation into a R1.2 billion fleet rental tender.
The City awarded the tender, which National Treasury termed as “irregular,” in 2018 to Afrirent, a company that reportedly had links with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Mashaba was Mayor at the time. According to a report by amaBhungane, Afrirent allegedly paid R500,000 to Mahuna Investments, a company linked to EFF leader Julius Malema, just before winning the tender.
‘I am unshaken’
Reacting to the National Treasury directive on Twitter on Tuesday, Mashaba said, “Let’s clear this up once and for all. If they want to investigate, I welcome it, but investigate in the interest of JUSTICE! Don’t try and use these investigations as a political tool. I am unshaken. I will not be silenced!”
In an accompanying video, he said he launched an investigation into the tender via the City’s forensic investigations services. “The final report, which was released in June last year, dismissed any notion that there was any political interference or influence in the award of the contract to Afrirent,” he added.
Mashaba further said, “I’ve never stood in the way of accountability and welcome further investigation. I always welcome investigations to ensure accountability. My government launched over 6,000 investigations involving over R34 billion in transactions.
“But, if you’re going to investigate, you must investigate across the board and in the interest of justice, not politics. Can I suggest that National Treasury order an investigation into a former MMC for Finance who earned R30 million from a Gupta-linked entity after making sure that they were awarded a lucrative City contract. The former MMC is now the Mayor of our City of Johannesburg [Geoff Makhubo].”
‘Mashaba, DA/EFF must be held accountable’
Mashaba was referring to Regiments Capital, which won a contract to manage the City’s future liabilities fund. According to an amaBhungane report, Makhubo’s company, Molelwane Consulting, allegedly received the R30 million from Regiments for “strategic relationships” between 2006 and 2015.
Makhubo has steadfastly denied “any suggestion of impropriety or corruption in the relationship between Molelwane and Regiments.” He said he resigned from Molelwane when he became MMC.
Earlier on Tuesday, the African National Congress (ANC) in Johannesburg taunted Mashaba over the fleet rental tender.
In a statement, it said, “The previous administration under Mashaba’s leadership and Democratic Alliance/EFF-led coalition must be held liable and accountable for the alleged corruption and maladministration that happened under their leadership.”
However, Mashaba hit back in a series of tweets. He wrote, “I am not threatened and intimidated by empty malicious propaganda. You will come to regret taking such irresponsible tactics of lies and manipulations. I wasn’t born yesterday, and will never compromise and sell my country for any amount.
“Do you think you can silence me by this empty propaganda? Use such tricks against each other within the ANC. No one talks within the ANC because of having Smalanyana skeletons. In my three years in office, I did more to fight corruption than you have done in 25 years.”