Mashaba is out to get me‚ says suspended official

Suspended MMC Rabelani Dagada.
Suspended MMC Rabelani Dagada.

Suspended City of Johannesburg Finance MMC Rabelani Dagada has denied allegations that he tried to influence tender allocations and called the charges against him “utter lies”.

“There has been a concerted effort by the mayor‚ since last year June‚ to remove me from the mayoral committee. Unfortunately the mayor could not get sufficient political support to remove me‚” Dagada said on Monday.

Dagada alleged that Mashaba had tried several times to remove him by embarking on a “witch hunt”.

“He has now successfully done that‚ but based on lies‚” Dagada said.

“The mayor is very dictatorial and I am the only person in that mayoral committee who could say no to him. He is not used to that. His word is final.”

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said in a statement on Monday that Dagada was suspended after allegations that he tried to influence tender processes to benefit his associates. Mashaba said Dagada was suspended after consulting the DA federal executive. Dagada has also been removed as a councillor and faces a disciplinary inquiry of the party’s federal legal commission.

Mashaba said he had launched a forensic investigation into Dagada after media reports late last year alleged “serious activities of undue influence and nepotism”.

“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‚” Mashaba said.

“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.”

Dagada said one of the allegations related to a R193‚000 tender for a micro economic study in the city.

“It is ridiculous‚ because to offer someone a successful bid it is signed by the City Manager … That is done through rigorous processes.”

Dagaba said he was informed about the investigation by external company Gobodo Forensic Investigative Accounting in October last year and is still waiting for the final report.

“Last week they gave us what they called an updated draft which still had a lot of mistakes and inaccuracies. Friday we wrote back with my lawyers to say please make the corrections. The so-called investigations‚ none of them have been concluded.”

Dagaba tweeted that officials were put under “under immense pressure” to depose affidavits against him.

The City of Johannesburg described Dagaba in a profile on their website as a “reluctant politician who was pushed instead of being pulled into politics”.

Mashaba tweeted on Monday that he will be laying a complaint against Dagada with the City of Johannesburg ethics committee while the disciplinary processes are under way.

He added that other officials also face disciplinary action after allegedly colluding with Dagada. He will be replaced by development MMC Funzela Ngobeni‚ whose position will be filled by Soweto PR councillor Reuben Masango.

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