City of Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga. Picture: SUPPLIED
Solly Msimanga City of Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga. Picture: SUPPLIED

An independent investigation will be conducted into the City Of Tshwane’s municipal manager Moeketsi Mosola over alleged procurement irregularities.

The city council on Monday resolved that a preliminary report be submitted to council within 30 days, and that the COO James Murphy must appoint the independent investigators.

This puts Murphy in a precarious situation, as he has been tasked with appointing those who will investigate his boss, Mosola. Fears have also been raised about Mosola’s influence on witnesses while he remains in office.

The council meeting on Monday followed a meeting in August in which the council had resolved to serve Mosola with a notice of intention to suspend him over an alleged irregular contract. Mosola had seven days to give reasons as to why he should not be suspended pending an independent investigation into allegations of procurement irregularities against him and senior city officials.

The intention to suspend Mosola was in relation to a tender granted to engineering consultants GladAfrica, which would have managed the city’s infrastructure budget over a three-year period through a project management unit.

The Sunday Times has reported that the deal with GladAfrica guaranteed the engineering company at least 10% in middleman commissions for managing the city’s entire capital expenditure budget, including the likes of the city’s A Re Yeng bus rapid transport system.

The DA’s initial recommendations to council were that Mosola must be suspended with full pay pending the outcome of the investigation, but this did not make it into the final recommendations.

It is understood that it took four hours of negotiation on Monday, after the meeting initially started at midnight, to at least get all of the parties on board to open an investigation into Mosola.

The EFF, which was initially opposed to this, had in its first amendments of the recommendations asked that GladAfrica’s name be removed from the recommendations, and that it merely be replaced by the more generic reference of project management unit. The ANC’s Mapiti Matsena, however, said GladAfrica could not just be left out, as its appointment to run the unit was the issue at hand.

The party later said it was persuaded to keep GladAfrica’s name in council’s recommendations.

The EFF also asked that the investigation be extended to 60 days, but council eventually resolved on 30 days, which both the DA and the ANC supported.

City of Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga said in August that the notice of intention to suspend Mosola came after prima facie evidence had emerged in his submissions "that he unlawfully concluded a contract". He said the implication was that the city "now faces serious financial risk which could run into excess of hundreds of millions of rand" which the council would endeavour to deal with.