'Gauteng official admitted to stealing Alex renewal project documents‚' claims Mashaba

Herman Mashaba claims a Gauteng government official has admitted to gaining illegal access to Alexandra Renewal Project.
Herman Mashaba claims a Gauteng government official has admitted to gaining illegal access to Alexandra Renewal Project.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba claimed on Wednesday that a Gauteng government official unlawfully accessed city of Johannesburg offices containing files on the Alexandra renewal project (ARP).

Mashaba did not name the official‚ but a statement issued by his office said the city's group forensics and investigation services unit had established that a file containing documents pertaining to the project was missing from the locked offices.

"Our forensics unit is in possession of a recorded interview with this Gauteng provincial government official in which he confirms that he procured a key for these locked offices. In the recording‚ the official also confirms having accessed these offices‚" the statement said.

Mashaba said the disappearance of the documents came at a time when the city had launched a full-scale forensic investigation into the project.

He said the municipality could confirm that evidence was now missing.

Mashaba's statement said the implicated official was formerly employed by the City of Johannesburg within the ARP project.

“It has subsequently been established that the City of Johannesburg had not given permission for keys to be cut or for access to be granted to this official of the Gauteng provincial government‚” he said.

Mashaba said if Gauteng premier David Makhura was serious about the investigation initiated into the ARP‚ he must immediately investigate the actions of this official and determine on whose instructions this alleged act of criminality was carried out.

The Gauteng provincial government said Makhura had not been informed about the city's investigation and did not know who the implicated official is.

"The mayor's office attempted to contact the premier to inform him about the incident‚ without success. A letter has been prepared to notify the premier about the official‚" said acting mayoral spokesperson Olebogeng Molatlhwa.

Provincial government spokesperson Thabo Masebe said the province was not in a position to comment at this stage without knowing the identity of the accused official.

The city said on Wednesday afternoon that it had not yet reported the matter to the police but would do so before the end of the week.

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