‘Unafraid’ Mashaba looks set to be ousted after finding ‘centre of state capture’

‘Unafraid’ Mashaba looks set to be ousted after finding ‘centre of state capture’

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba is pictured leaving the Johannesburg Central Police station, 10 December 2018, after laying charges against Parks Tau and Geoff Makhubo. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The Joburg mayor looks likely to be ousted if the EFF are true to their word on turning their backs on the DA.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba is ready to face the ANC-sponsored motion of no confidence and he will go if he must, but even if he is ousted he will leave with a big smile on his face.

He will be smiling due to being proud to have delivered what he promised to the residents of the City of Johannesburg in his three years in power.

This as August 22 – the day Mashaba was elected mayor three years ago – looms, when the ANC will table a motion of no confidence in him.

Indications were that the motion would succeed, especially if the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) either supported it or abstained, as the party promised to do on any motion or vote in a metro led by the Democratic Alliance (DA) or ANC.

But in an interview with The Citizen yesterday, Mashaba said he was prepared to take the blow on the chin. He was confident that, even if removed, he would be satisfied to have achieved a lot for Johannesburg.

The people of Joburg would remember him for the great work he had done for them in the last three years, he said.

The ANC wanted him out because of widespread corruption that occurred under the previous administration led by the ANC that Mashaba had uncovered.

“I am not afraid of the ANC. I was not voted in by them. I was voted in by the DA and other parties. They opposed all six of my budgets,” said Mashaba. “The motion is a smokescreen. For me, being the mayor was the last job I needed. I served the people and I can step aside if need be.”

He said he had sent a report to the parliamentary portfolio committee about corruption that happened under the ANC. Each of the political parties in parliament has also been sent a dossier of corruption that occurred in Johannesburg.

“The ANC’s motion of no confidence against me is to cover their corrupt activities because we are investigating them.

“People think that Jacob Zuma was the only one involved in state capture. Johannesburg was the centre of state capture under the ANC. When I present my report to parliament, Jacob Zuma is going to look like a saint,” Mashaba said.

About achievements under his leadership, he said the Johannesburg inner city had improved greatly compared to what it was before he was elected on August 22, 2016.

He cleaned the rot in the inner city, both on the ground and in the form of illegally occupied buildings that made Joburg look like a ghost town.

Within the next six months, Johannesburg will turn into the biggest construction site in the history of South Africa because 154 buildings have been earmarked to be revamped. Already 84 tenders have been awarded to private sector contractors for six-month contracts amounting to R20 billion.

The tenders that were issued for the remaining 70 buildings closed at the end of July and the contracts will be awarded in September, costing between R15 billion and R20 billion.

In the last 18 months, the DA-led metro arrested 20,000 people, a figure that outstripped that of the ANC’s five-year term.

Mashaba said that, on all his decisions, he engaged the DA caucus and other parties – including the EFF – and all supported him.

Although he envisaged challenges in working with the EFF since he is an “unapologetic capitalist”, Mashaba said the party proved to be a great partner to work with.

“The EFF has been phenomenally supportive. Without them we wouldn’t have gone so far in the city. I showed them the budget and they supported the city’s plan,” Mashaba said.

He claimed the ANC wanted him out because many of its members were allegedly beneficiaries in the corruption that had been happening in the municipality.

Mashaba said he recently laid fraud charges at the Johannesburg Central police station against a senior ANC councillor who allegedly benefited from a fraudulent contract involving Gupta-linked Regiments Capital.

ericn@citizen.co.za

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