MMC of Finance Removed and Placed on Suspension
15 January 2018
Today, in consultation with the DA Federal Executive, I have taken the extraordinary step of removing Cllr Rabelani Dagada as the MMC of Finance in the City of Johannesburg.
Cllr Dagada has also been suspended by the Federal Executive as a Councillor, pending an enquiry of the DA’s Federal Legal Commission.
Late last year, media articles appeared which alleged serious activities of undue influence and nepotism against Cllr Dagada.
At the time I immediately initiated a forensic investigation through an external company, which was concluded this Friday.
The forensic investigation has found that Cllr Dagada has breached the City’s Code of Conduct by not declaring his interests and, subsequently, conflicts of interest with individuals closely associated with him. Further to this, the forensic investigation has found Cllr Dagada to have been involved in price fixing with a service provider to the City, and in the process acted against his sworn duty to our residents.
It is understood from the investigation that Cllr Dagada has acted in a manner which has sought, either directly or indirectly, to benefit service providers and officials closely associated with him. In this process a series of events have transpired that, in my view, could not have taken place coincidentally to the exclusive benefit of these associates.
An unforgivable element of the undue influence, according to the investigation, relates to the unfair treatment of officials who were pressured to authorise procurement deals to the benefit of those closely associated. I am proud to say that these officials stood firm in their convictions and refused to do what they knew was wrong.
I take a small measure of comfort in this, knowing that we have begun to achieve a professionalised civil service when principled officials, acting in the interests of our residents, are defended and those alleged of wrongdoing are dealt with decisively.
The City has initiated disciplinary action against the implicated officials, who will now begin to face disciplinary enquiries for their roles in the breaches of legislation and governance procedures.
Whilst these actions are taken with regret, the commitment of the multi-party coalition government to rid the City of wrongdoers will not include protecting our own.
Whilst the disciplinary processes are underway, I will be laying a complaint with the ethics committee of the Council and criminal charges against Cllr Dagada.
I would like to express my gratitude to journalists for their exposing of this matter, and what this represents to the contribution of journalism to our Democracy.
To ensure that I have decisive and suitable leadership in this important portfolio, I have decided to move MMC Funzela Ngobeni, from Development Planning to MMC of Finance with immediate effect, and appointed Mr Reuben Masango to replace him. Mr Masango as one of our current PR Councillors representing Ward 36 and 38 in Soweto.
He is a married family man with 4 children, and an admitted Attorney by profession, with strong social conscience. MMC Ngobeni demonstrated his commitment and leadership qualities immediately upon taking over office, hence I recently appointed him to serve as Leader of Executive Business in Council.
As an Executive Mayor, I cannot necessarily detect the willingness of people to engage in regrettable actions. However, we can and will continue to ensure that no act against the residents of our City goes unpunished, especially in those we trust to deliver change.
Statement issued by Cllr Herman Mashaba, Executive Mayor, City of Johannesburg, 15 January 2018
On his Twitter account on Monday morning 15 January 2018 Rabelani Dagada issued the following in response to the statement above:
1. I vehemently deny allegations contained on the statement released by Joburg Mayor this morning.
2. I have subjected to unrelenting witch-hunt to remove me from the Mayoral Committee and to kill my political career.
3. A lot of mud has been thrown to me with the view that some of this mud will stick.
4. All the seven investigations that I have been subjected to are not yet completed.
5. It is not true that I put some officials under pressure to give tenders to my associates. What are those tenders for? They don’t exist.
6. What are the names of companies or associates I wanted to enrich through tenders? The truth is that they don’t exist.
7. The courts and other properly constituted forums shall clear my name.
8. Some officials were put under immense pressure to dispose affidavits against me. The contents of those affidavits is baseless.
9. I will do anything possible to clear my name and it shall be cleared.