Home South Africa News Workers storm a Johannesburg property company meeting to demand change

Workers storm a Johannesburg property company meeting to demand change

Johannesburg Property Company (JPC)

Employees stormed a Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) board meeting yesterday, alleging about a hit-list of management officials who were targeted by board.

This according to the Democratic Alliance (DA) caucus who claimed to have proof that the ANC coalition members were offered key positions in the company as well as other city entities such as the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market (JFPM).

The party lamented the appointment of Leanne Williams, a member of coalition government partners, the Patriotic Alliance as chief executive of the JPFM.

According to DA shadow MMC for Economic Development, Ntombi Khumalo, some employees have already fallen victim to intimidation after speaking out against alleged corruption, nepotism, and financial mismanagement at the company. The latest alleged victim was an employee who was kidnapped, beaten, and tortured last week, according to Khumalo.

In September, mayor Geoff Makhubo suspended beleaguered CEO Helen Botes and her chief financial officer Imraan Bhamjee pending an investigation into allegations of procurement irregularities involving Covid-19 cleaning and sanitising contracts.

Khumalo said preliminary audit reports place one of the highest amounts (R89 million) of irregular expenditure in the city firmly at JPC’s feet. In the same month, the company moved staff into a R1.6 million-a month rental property at the Braampark precinct after allegedly leaving it vacant for over a year.

The company has since denied this claim and contended that the building was never vacant as it was being used for storage and to act as a dispatch point for cleaning staff.

During the DA’s reign in the metro, a number of forensic investigations were commissioned into irregular contracts involving land deals, such as the awarding of the Sandton Gautrain Station to Regiments Capital. Several of these investigations directly implicated the CEO and CFO. All of these investigations have been buried since the ANC took over the city.

The DA was calling on Makhubo to initiate a full investigation into the recent incident and the various allegations levelled against the board of the entity as well as the management.

“He must also commit to preventing all attempts by the DA to place their cadres in key city departments and entities. We will also be calling for a full presentation by the GFIS (Group Forensic and Investigation Service) into the current status of forensic investigations into JPC.”

The party also wanted the mayor to suspend economic development MMC Lloyd Phillips to prevent any potential interference in the investigation.

Attempts to contact Phillips and Makhubo were not succesful at the time of going to publication.

-The Citizen

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