Tshwane city manager Moeketsi Mosola has rubbished allegations of tender irregularities in the appointment of engineering company GladAfrica to oversee the infrastructure of the city.
He described the allegations as a “witch-hunt” meant only to conceal the “real and serious issues plaguing the metro”.
In an interview with City Press, Mosola claimed the animosity and subsequent smear campaign meant to push him out of his position began soon after he initiated investigations that led to the former chief of staff, Marietha Aucamp, being fired for lying about her qualifications.
“The DA’s white minority cabal” who “really control things in Tshwane were unhappy and wanted me out at all costs because I was responsible for the dismissal of their blue-eyed beloved,” said Mosola.
He reiterated that there were no “irregularities” in awarding GladAfrica the tender and the appointment of the engineering firm was above board.
“GladAfrica was appointed via the Municipal Supply Chain Management regulation 32 (1) which states that a supply chain management policy may allow the accounting officer to procure goods and services under a contract secured by another organ of state,” said Mosola.
A letter in City Press’ possession reveals that on June 21 last year Mosola wrote to the Development Bank of SA (DBSA) – which counts as “another organ of the state” as stipulated by regulation 32 (1) – and requested a letter of consent and documents to prove that companies went through a bidding process.
Mosola agreed that the processes were technical and open to interpretation but he maintained that regulation 32 allowed him, as an accounting officer of a municipality, to use a tender from another municipality as long he was satisfied that municipality had conducted a competitive process.
The bank’s chief executive officer Patrick Dlamini responded to Mosola saying “DBSA had constituted a panel of professionals and service providers from the built environment sector … who followed a competitive process”.
He therefore had no reservations about allowing Mosola, as the city’s accounting officer, to use the recommendation of the bank’s panel.
However, he emphasised that the city of Tshwane would be “responsible for its own procurement and governance requirements pertaining to the use of the panel recommendations”.
Nowhere in Dlamini’s response to Mosola did he recommend GladAfrica and instead recommended “a panel of companies”.
With that said, Mosola concluded all the procurement processes to award the tender were followed.
He said GladAfrica’s appointment was not the issue.
The problem was that once the engineering firm started providing the city with project management support, it did so “with an iron fist”, excluding “any underhanded deals, reducing certain senior officials’ powers and limiting any access” that could result in defrauding the city. He claimed this did not sit well with certain factions of the DA.
“After this, the party wanted me out at all costs,” he said.
Mosola criticised the manner in which investigations into his role in awarding the tender were carried out.
“I was never made aware of the investigations; I found out only through a third unrelated party.
“Even though the manner in which I was being investigated did not follow municipal regulations, under protest I have allowed myself to be probed in this way.
“I offered those investigating me all the documentation they needed to show that I had nothing to hide,” said Mosola.
“I chose to remain silent in the hope that the council would vindicate me.
“However, when the law firm Bowmans was roped in, I realised that I was never going to be subjected to a fair investigation,” said Mosola.
The Labour Court in Johannesburg granted Mosola an urgent interdict on Thursday to stop Tshwane’s city council from tabling the findings of Bowmans’ investigative report into GladAfrica.
“It is not because I have anything to hide that I approached the courts, but because I do not trust the independence of Bowmans,” said Mosola.