According to a report by The Star this morning, it has been “established” that finance MMC Rabelani Dagada and the department’s group head of treasury, Seth Mukwevho, are both active directors in a company called AIFHELI Energy.
The paper says this seemingly underpins allegations that Dagada was “enriching” his supposed long-standing professional associate and “friend”, Mukwevho, through the alleged “irregular” awarding of both a lucrative tender and senior jobs.
According to a report published two weeks ago in The Star, Randongo Consulting, which is said to be partly owned by Mukwevho, received R193 000 for two months’ work to compile a “macroeconomic analysis for the City’s economic growth and employment strategy”.
It is reported that after the contract ended, Mukwevho was appointed a director in the finance department before shortly being promoted to his current position less than three months after joining the City of Johannesburg as an employee.
It is alleged there was neither an interview process nor a probation period on which to base his progression.
Dagada is quoted as admitting that he and Mukwevho were directors of AIFHELI Energy, but did not say whether any of them declared this apparent conflict of interest to the City.
“This company [AIFHELI Energy] was already undergoing deregistration by 2010, and I had assumed that by the time I became a PR [proportional representation] councillor in 2014, it was already fully deregistered,” Dagada is reported to have said.
He is also said to have registered another company with Mukwevho in 2000, but that it had never traded. It is claimed Mukwevho received the macroeconomic analysis tender due to undue influence allegedly exterted by Dagada. The MMC reportedly denied the allegation.
The report further states that red flags with regards to Mukwevho’s “irregular appointment” to his current senior post as senior group head of treasury were also raised following what sources said was a meteoric rise from being a city supplier to being a senior official.
Ishwas Ramdas, the city group chief financial officer (CFO), is said to have reiterated that the recruitment policy allowed “all applicants who meet the minimum requirements for the specific post advertised to be considered for shortlisting”, and added that the interview “took place on August 25, 2017”, saying he was satisfied the prescribed process was followed in Mukwevho’s appointment.
Adv Sduduzo Gumede was suspended earlier in the year by mayor Herman Mashaba for, among other things, failing to declare that he was in a business partnership with an owner of a company that was awarded a business by his office to provide call centre services. He argued he didn’t have to as it was deregistered in 2009.
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