Mashaba: I did nothing wrong
Let me be blatantly clear, the allegations made in Sowetan's regrettable article, and other publications feeding of this "news", could not be further from the truth.
As I have publicly stated before, while contesting the local government elections, I resigned from all directorships I had held in my business career. I have also declared all of my financial interests and my office has engaged with the city's Integrity Commissioner to ensure that the office is satisfied with the disclosures.
In fact my declaration, made upon assuming office, is publicly available.
In the process of trying to bring dignity to the city's contracted security personnel, through insourcing, I reached out to a former associate who was also a security sector expert, who possessed the skills we needed, to advise us.
This service was provided to the city free of charge, and after having determined that this former associate has no interests in the city. Further to this, it was made explicitly clear that any assistance given would not entitle the individual or any organisation they may be associated with to any existing or future business with the city.
Given those parameters, no conflict of interest could arise.
As an added step towards promoting transparency, the matter was fully canvassed with the city's mayoral committee and the administration's coalition partners.
The fact that I am able to bring expertise from the private sector to assist the city without financial benefit to anyone other than our residents is something of which I am not ashamed. Furthermore, we have been able to initiate the insourcing process to the benefit and dignity of our security personnel because of this free advice received.
Considering the legitimate public interest in the matter and in order to preserve the reputation of the city, the following must be said:
At no point did the paper seek to establish what had been reported in my declarations of interest. In any event, it was specifically communicated by my office that I had disclosed all interests to the city's Integrity Commissioner, which are publicly available. This was not reported on.
Again, the reporting in the article failed to understand the application of the Municipal Finance Management Act or the supply chain management policy of the city, or even so much as to quote the relevant sections that are being incorrectly referred to in the article as an unsolicited bid.
At no stage was a bidding process applicable.
It is my opinion that the reporting on this matter has left much to be desired, if not with the direct intention of not only misleading the public but also driving a narrative attacking my reputation and those named in the article.
Unlike what we have seen across our country, political leaders with nothing to hide - such as myself - must step forward and be fully accountable to their residents.
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