ANC opens criminal case against Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Image: Sunday Times

The ANC in Johannesburg has launched a criminal case against the city's mayor, Herman Mashaba, and other officials over alleged irregularities in a R1.2bn fleet management contract awarded to AfriRent.

Eunice Mgcina, chief whip of  the ANC caucus in Johannesburg, said the party had warned the city about irregularities.

"We are here to open a case against the administration of the City of Johannesburg, particularly the mayor, municipal manager, the MMC for corporate and shared services and senior officials in the department of corporate and shared services," Mgcina said.

A report commissioned by Mashaba found in June that there was nothing untoward in the awarding of the contract to AfriRent.

Cathy Seefort, the ANC councillor who opened the case at the Hillbrow police station on Friday morning, told a media briefing that tender processes had been continuously flawed and that the mayor had no respect for regulations.

Seefort claimed that in September last year, the bid adjudication committee recommended that Zeda Cars, trading as Avis, should be awarded the contract, named "A733".

"However, three months later, instead of them getting a tender, they got a letter cancelling their appointment. We spoke in council that this was irregular," Seefort said.

Seefort accused the city of using a regulation 32 process to award the tender to AfriRent and claimed the contract with AfriRent was for a higher amount than they would have paid if they had appointed another service provider.

"We felt that since the mayor, the MMC of corporate and shared services and officials have failed to do correct things, it is time to lay charges against them, to keep them accountable for things they have done wrong," Mgcina said.

Mashaba had requested the city’s group forensic and investigation services to investigate alleged political interference in the awarding of the contract to AfriRent.

Mashaba made this request after an article appeared in the Mail and Guardian newspaper alleging that there was political interference in the tender process.

The investigation found in June that although the city had made a decision in April last year to appoint Avis as the successful bidder, this had changed when the bid executive committee had received a report that indicated there were material findings suggesting irregularities during the procurement process.

This led to the cancellation of the contract in June last year, meaning the start of a new tender process.

The report said there were only four months left before the current contract was due to  expire and that there was a real possibility the city would not have a new contract by the time it expired at the end of October last year.

The report found there was nothing untoward in the process followed by the city to contract AfriRent.

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