Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has been urged to probe Joburg mayor Geoff Makhubo following his adviser’s appointment as acting chief executive of the Joburg Property Company (JPC).
Mkhwebane’s probe comes after businessman and politician Kenny Kunene’s complaint about Ruby Mathang’s appointment to oversee one of the city’s biggest budgets.
Kunene contends that this represents a dangerous conflict of interest and gives Makhubo direct control of a major City-owned entity that oversees a multibillion-rand budget in the city.
Mkhwebane’s spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said the office had received the complaint and they would be assessing it.
“The complainant alleges corruption and conflict of interest regarding the appointment of the special adviser to the executive mayor. The complaint will be assessed for jurisdiction and merit before a decision on the way forward can be made,” he said.
In the complaint, which the publication has seen, Kunene writes that the JPC’s former board, which was recently dissolved, had previously “refused an instruction from the mayor, disguised as repeated recommendations from his mayoral committee, that Mr Mathang should be instated as the acting CEO”.
“All of the former board’s chosen appointees to this role were rejected by the mayoral committee (Maycom), despite the mayoral committee, and the mayor as the shareholder of record, not having the power to overturn board decisions.”
He said this was the reason the former board, “chaired by independent property expert Caswell Rampheri, was dissolved by the shareholder”.
He claims that former chairperson Moeketsi Rabodila was reinstalled as the new board chair, “despite his involvement in previous irregularities at JPC, including a decision to irregularly convert the fixed-term contract of the chief financial officer to permanent”.
He added that the subsequent appointment of Mathang by the new board “is irregular in the extreme”.
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