Corruption allegations against ANC mayoral candidate ‘still to be discussed’
Geoff Makhubo tweets that he has been cleared but integrity committee still has to sit over report
A report looking into allegations that Geoff Makhubo, chair of the ANC’s powerful Johannesburg regional and its mayoral candidate — pocketed R30m from SA’s richest metro is yet to be formally tabled before his party’s structures.
Makhubo said he has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the ANC’s provincial integrity committee.
When the allegations resurfaced last week Makhubo took to Twitter, saying he had shown the ANC’s provincial integrity committee that “the allegations are rubbish”. He wrote that he was available to appear before any competent body to “state the case and provide proof”.
On November 26, Makhubo tweeted: "When my name was raised in the media with this allegation I approached the ANC integrity commission to probe the matter. The commission has concluded its work and I have been cleared. The PEC [provincial executive committee] will release the report. The mayoral candidate decision and reasons will be shared.”
When my name was raised in the media with this allegation I approached the ANC integrity commission to probe the matter. The Commission has concluded it’s work and I have been cleared. The PEC will release the report. The mayoral candidate decision and reasons will be shared. https://t.co/FlYpSXSYFR— Geoff Makhubo (@Geoff_Makhubo) November 26, 2019
ANC PEC spokesperson Bones Modise confirmed the report was still to be discussed. “What this means (is that) what comrade Geoff Makhubo has done is out of order. It was wrong of him to articulate this issue [on Twitter] when it has not been properly processed by the party.”
The ANC announced Makhubo as its mayoral candidate at the eleventh hour on Thursday last week, throwing a spanner in the works as the process was considered a two-horse race between EFF regional chair and caucus leader Musa Novela and DA regional leader and finance MMC Funzela Ngobeni.
The election is expected on Thursday. If Makhubo stays in the race he does so under a cloud of suspicion — a situation that could provide ammunition to his political rivals.
If he is elected he will be in pole position to control the purse strings of the City of Joburg’s R64.5bn budget for 2019/2020.
Investigative unit AmaBhungane reported in December 2018 that Makhubo, the city's former finance MMC, scored an estimated R30m from the municipality by acting as an influence broker.
It reported that in 2006, Regiments Fund Managers, a division of Regiments Capital, received a contract to manage the city’s “sinking fund”, described as a pool of several billion rand put aside to meet the city’s future debt repayments. By 2015, Regiments had taken an estimated R300m in fees.
ANC Greater Joburg regional spokesperson Jolidee Matongo said the allegations against Makhubo had not been tested yet nor had been found guilty in a court of law.
“When the story broke in December 2018 Makhubo wrote to the public protector to investigate the matter. Secondly, he has submitted himself to the integrity committee in the province to do an investigation,” said Matongo.
“The report is apparently concluded but it has not yet been tabled … with its recommendations and findings for the PEC to make its final decision.”
ANC provincial integrity committee chair Trevor Fowler said he recused himself from this matter because he had worked with Makhubo for many years. “I was the city manager and he was finance MMC. I said to the committee it would not be correct to participate in this [process],” said Fowler.
Fowler said his deputy, Fazel Randera, had handled the matter. “The report was completed a short time ago and it has not yet been tabled before the PEC.”
Randera told Business Day on Monday: “We are going to meet with the PEC to provide them with the report. Makhubo asked for an audience with the integrity committee. That report is completed and it will be discussed with the PEC.”
Makhubo said on Monday night: "The PP [public protector] wrote back to say it was not her jurisdiction and the integrity committee report will be processed and released by the PEC."