The African National Congress’s (ANC) mayoral candidate for Johannesburg Geoff Makhubo took to Twitter near the end of November to indicate that the party’s integrity commission has “cleared” him of corruption allegations.
It seems this assertion was premature, as ANC Gauteng provincial executive committee (PEC) spokesperson Bones Modise told Business Day the report was still under discussion.
“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,” Modise told the publication.
In a later tweet, Makhubo declared that he had shown the integrity commission the allegations against him were “rubbish”.
“I am available to appear before any competent body to state the case and provide proof. I wonder why is it that one newspaper article is taken as gospel truth,” he added.
Makhubo was accused in a report by investigative journalism centre amaBhungane of having earned R30 million as an “influence broker” in a deal between the City of Johannesburg and controversial Gupta-linked company Regiments Capital.
Makhubo’s first tweet about being cleared was in response to a tweet from journalist Samkele Maseko, who said the Gauteng ANC PEC had rejected Makhubo as a possible mayoral candidate due to the allegations.
What changed is unclear, but by the time the ANC met to nominate a candidate ahead of last week’s vote – which was postponed until December 4 and 5 – a list of three candidates was presented, Makhubo was on it and he was promptly nominated.
While anything could happen, The Citizen has reported that an ANC victory seems likely, with the DA unlikely to maintain its hold of the City by way of a coalition government without the support of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who are fielding their own mayoral candidate and have expressed doubts about working with the DA following the departure of their close ally, former Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
The ANC have themselves expressed confidence that they will unseat the DA, and ahead of the vote’s postponement last week were dancing and celebrating in chambers before votes were even cast.
Makhubo will be up against the DA’s Funzela Ngobeni and the EFF’s Musa Novela.
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 (@GeoffMakhubo) November 26, 2019
Because I showed Integrity Committee that the allegations are rubbish. I am available to appear before any competent body to state the case and provide proof. I wonder why is it that one newspaper article is taken as gospel truth. https://t.co/SvAbzewLv1
— Geoff Makhubo (@GeoffMakhubo) November 30, 2019