08/02/2017 11:23 SAST | Updated 08/02/2017 14:53 SAST

Jo'burg Launches Corruption Probe At City Power

Mayor lambasts ANC's nervousness over inquiry: "where there's smoke there's fire".

Jabu Kumalo/Daily Sun/Gallo
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba marked his 100 days in office on December 01, 2016.

Johannesburg's Herman Mashaba has launched a major investigation into City Power tenders worth billions.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) official sent out a statement late on Tuesday saying that the city instituted an independent forensic investigation into City Power tenders valued at billions of rands. This follows serious allegations and "information being disclosed to me".

The investigation is being conducted by an independent auditing firm in order to ensure that its report is free of any political interference or bias.

"We expect a report to be finalised in the next six weeks and will make its findings and recommendations available to the public," said Mashaba.

The statement defiantly continues: "I find it staggering that the ANC would take interest in investigations into City Power tenders authorised during their term in office. I regard it as an indication that we are looking into the right tenders."

The ANC claimed on Tuesday that Mashaba wanted to dissolve the board because he wanted to influence tenders at the utility. According to the ANC, Mashaba instructed the new Joburg city manager, Ndivho Lukhwareni, on Monday to dissolve the City Power board.

"It has come to our attention that Mashaba is putting pressure on metro boards to fire senior managers because they were employed by the previous administration of the ANC," ANC Greater Johannesburg region spokesperson Jolidee Matongo said.

Mashaba responded: "This interest and opposition to our fight against corruption in the City of Joburg gives credence to the idea that where there is smoke there is fire. The statement of the ANC begs the question, 'If there is nothing to hide in this tender, why the level of interest?'

"When I entered office I declared corruption public enemy number one and I am committed to rooting it out of every corner of our City. The days of politicians and officials shamelessly looting public money are over.

"I condemn the ANC's distasteful and shameless attack on City Manager Dr Ndivho Lukhwareni, someone with such a distinguished career. This career includes serving as the Deputy City Manager under an ANC administration in Tshwane."

The Johannesburg mayor concluded with: "I have a direct message for the ANC: If you have any discomfort in the focus of our investigations, all I can say is please get used to it. I can offer you no comfort, only the assurance those found guilty of corruption are behind bars and stolen money is recovered."