Joburg mayor vows to arrest corrupt officials, infuriating Samwu
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba is under fire for vowing to arrest corrupt officials in the city’s licensing department. On Friday, the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) accused Mashaba of making serious allegations about licensing staff.
Mashaba revealed on Tuesday that his municipal administration had uncovered 927 transactions worth just less than R15m that may have been fraudulent. He said four officials at the department had already been arrested for fraud and corruption after an investigation into fraud involving R14.7m, and that a further 106 allegedly corrupt officials would be arrested in the next few days.
Samwu Gauteng spokesman Jack Mokalapa said, "It is unacceptable for any person in council leadership to use such a position for political mileage‚ as these allegations are of a serious and sensitive nature‚ especially if they are proven untrue. We equally condemn the unwarranted media spectacle created by the mayor in pursuit of appropriating ill-deserved credit on an investigation his administration knows nothing about."
"Without any fear of contradiction‚ we want to state that as much as we agree with the mayor that corruption is public enemy number one‚ his statement … is tainted with glaring factual distortions," Mokalapa said.
Mashaba responded with tweets to the comments. "I am deeply concerned with the embarrassing and contradictory press conference held by Samwu today‚" said Mashaba.
I am deeply concerned with the embarrassing and contradictory press conference held by SAMWU today.— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) January 13, 2017
He added, "If Samwu was serious about their fight against corruption they’d back the new administration & our zero-tolerance approach to corruption."
If SAMWU was serious about their fight against corruption, they'd back the new administration & our zero-tolerance approach to corruption.— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) January 13, 2017
"I invite Samwu to challenge us in terms of us dealing with cases that they may find uncomfortable or unclear," said Mashaba. "Our doors are open."