“This follows serious allegations and information being disclosed to me‚” Mashaba said on Tuesday evening.
He said the investigation was being conducted by Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo Incorporated‚ one of the top five auditing firms in South Africa.
“It is essential that this investigation is conducted by an independent and professional auditing firm in order to ensure that its report is free of any political interference or bias.”
Mashaba added that he expected a report to be finalised in the next six weeks and would make its findings and recommendations available to the public.
Confirmation of the probe comes in the wake of a statement by the ANC in Johannesburg which charged that Mshaba was “putting pressure on Joburg Metro Boards to fire senior managers‚ simply because these managers were employed by the ANC administration”.
“The ANC understands that Mayor Mashaba has instructed the board of City Power led by Struggle veteran Frank Chikane to suspend the utility’s Managing Director Sicelo Xulu‚ Mashaba threatened to dissolve the Board if this doesn’t happen.
“On Monday the 6th of February 2017‚ Mashaba instructed the new Joburg City Manager Ndivho Lukhwareni to dissolve the City Power board. The decision to dissolve the board was resisted by the City Manager who is now under pressure from the Donald Trump-like totalitarian tendencies of Mashaba‚” the ANC asserted.
It added that the power utility’s board was now in an “unenviable position” to either comply with Mashaba’s instruction and suspend Xulu‚ or risk being dissolved for refusing to suspend Xulu.
“The ANC believes that Lukhwareni will not be able to resist Mashaba’s thirst to remove boards of City entities for too long‚ especially at City Power‚” the ANC stated. “Mashaba has pretended to be on a corruption-busting mission‚ but his extraordinary interest in City Power tenders reveals his true interests.
If not for him‚ at least for the hawks within the DA who know his vulnerability because of his lack of support in the party structures. Rumours that Mashaba is in debt also fueled suspicions about his ruthless pursuit for Xulu‚ disregarding the need for due process and respect for the country’s laws‚” the ANC added.
Mashaba said he found it staggering that the ANC would take interest in investigations into City Power tenders authorised during their term in office.
“I regard it as an indication that we are looking into the right tenders‚” he said.
“This interest and opposition to our fight against corruption in the City of Joburg gives credence to the idea that where there is smoke there is fire. The statement of the ANC begs the question‚ ‘If there is nothing to hide in this tender‚ why the level of interest?’.
“When I entered office I declared corruption public enemy number one and I am committed to rooting it out of every corner of our City. The days of politicians and officials shamelessly looting public money are over.
“I condemn the ANC’s distasteful and shameless attack on City Manager‚ Dr Ndivho Lukhwareni‚ someone with such a distinguished career. This career includes serving as the Deputy City Manager under an ANC administration in Tshwane‚” Mashaba said.
He said he had a direct message for the ANC: “If you have any discomfort in the focus of our investigations‚ all I can say is please get used to it. I can offer you no comfort‚ only the assurance those found guilty of corruption are behind bars and stolen money is recovered.”