National 19.9.2016 07:30 am

Msimanga brings back Tshwane’s anti-corruption unit

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga.
Picture: Christine Vermooten

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga. Picture: Christine Vermooten

The DA mayor says the unit was disbanded by the former ANC administration ‘because they got too close to the truth’.

Tshwane Executive Mayor Solly Msimanga has cracked the whip again, announcing he has resuscitated two crime fighting units within the Tshwane municipality – the Metro Police Narcotics Unit and the Tshwane anti-corruption unit. Msimanga said both these units had been given more fighting power.

The narcotics unit has been given more training to equip it in the fight against drugs. According to Msimanga, the team recovered drugs worth more than R500 000 in Tshwane last week.

“Informal traders who are selling drugs instead of vegetables have been uncovered and are being dealt with. These are things we are already dealing with.

“We are going to hit communities from Eersterust to Soshanguve, Atteridgeville and right through to Centurion,” he warned.

Msimanga is also talking to the MMC for social development and embassies in the city regarding rehabilitation centres for drug addicts, “to see how they can assist us with not only rehabilitation centres, but to provide them with skills training so that they can start a new life”.

The mayor is also very excited after he and his team brought back to life the municipality’s anti-corruption unit, which was abandoned under the former administration.

“The team consists of 10 members and they are to investigate corruption within the municipality. We are not spending new money on them because these people were in the system and we are just making better use of them.

“They are going to bust corruption within the municipality, including irregularities within the system. We have given them new power to make sure they have a bit of a bite,” Msimanga added.

According to the new mayor, the unit was disbanded by the former ANC administration. “Some of the investigators were, in fact, sidelined and taken off cases because they got too close to the truth.”

Msimanga said this was all part of his promises to fight drugs and corruption in the city. He said that was why, when he found out that the previous administration had bought 10 luxury cars worth more than R500 000 each, he immediately handed them over to the metro police anti-hijacking unit.

“We don’t need cars with such high-powered engines. If we are going to have a safer city, it means I also have to equip those who are responsible for keeping the city safe,” he said.

A number of contracts were also under review – such as the Tshwane smart meter contract and Tshwane free Wi-Fi.

“Don’t get me wrong. We want to provide accessible Wi-Fi to the majority of our people, but we need to make sure it is sustainable and affordable. It does not help to spend hundreds of millions on providing free Wi-Fi if the city can’t provide water and electricity.”

The Tshwane smart meter case is being investigated by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

– virginiak@citizen.co.za

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