Tshwane Council issues notice of intention to suspend city manager

Tshwane city manager Moeketsi Mosola was issued with a notice of intention to suspend him by the Tshwane Metropolitan Council on Wednesday.

The notice to suspend follows Mosola being recently implicated in the awarding of an alleged irregular tender to engineering consultants GladAfrica, worth a reported R12bn.

Mosola - who has denied the allegations, insisting that all processes were above board - will now have seven days to make written submissions on why he should not be suspended, after prima facie evidence emerged in his submissions that he unlawfully concluded a contract.

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"During the past few months, allegations about the irregular appointment of certain service providers were brought to my attention," said Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga in a statement.

"After obtaining legal advice, and in the interest of fairness and due process, I prepared a set of formal questions for the city manager to answer the allegations.

"Following due consideration, I took a report to council today requesting the city manager's suspension, to authorise an independent investigation into alleged procurement irregularities and, where necessary, to suspend suspected senior city officials for the duration of the investigation."

'Zero-tolerance approach to corruption'

Msimanga said the request for suspension is to prevent any undue influence or victimisation of officials during the investigation.

"My administration has a zero-tolerance approach to corruption and we have taken active steps to prevent irregularities on our watch," Msimanga said.

"Our zero-tolerance approach is based on transparency and accountability and will inform how we respond to allegations of irregularity.

"This is why I believe the city manager's suspension during the independent investigation is vital."

He added that the suspension would be in accordance with the disciplinary regulations for senior managers, as well as labour legislation, which was why Mosola had been afforded the opportunity to provide the Council with reasons why he should not be suspended.

"The rules of natural justice must be diligently observed in this regard and it must be made clear that no one has been found guilty of anything until such time as all investigative processes have been concluded."

Mosola claimed on Facebook that "a small group of white people" were targeting him, following the firing of former chief of staff Marietha Aucamp. He also said that the small group had an issue with GladAfrica - a black firm - being awarded the tender over an Afrikaans one.

Msimanga also noted that the EFF had staged a walk-out and did not support this report.