Tshwane city manager Moeketsi Mosola received a letter of intent to suspend him by the Metropolitan Council of Tshwane on Wednesday.
The notice to suspend follows that Mosola was recently involved in the granting of an alleged irregular registration to engineering consultants GladAfrica, which was worth a reported R12bn.
Mosola – who denied the accusations and insisted that all the processes were above the board – now has seven days to make written remarks about why he would not be suspended, after prima facie evidence came forward from his remarks that he unlawfully signed a contract.
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"In the past few months, accusations about the irregular appointment of certain service providers have been brought to my attention," said Mayor Solly Msimanga of Tshwane in a statement.
"After obtaining legal advice, and in the interests of honesty and fair trial, I drafted a series of formal questions for the city manager to answer the allegations.
"After careful consideration, I have today submitted a report to the city council asking for the city manager to be suspended, to allow an independent investigation into alleged irregularities with regard to tenders and, if necessary, suspect senior officials of the city for the duration of the investigation. "
& # 39; Zero-tolerance approach to corruption & # 39;
Msimanga said the request for suspension is to prevent undue influence or victimization of civil servants during the investigation.
"My administration uses a zero-tolerance approach to corruption and we have taken active steps to prevent irregularities on our guard," said Msimanga.
"Our zero tolerance approach is based on transparency and accountability and will inform us about how we respond to allegations of irregularities.
"That is why I believe that the suspension of the city manager during the independent investigation is of vital importance."
He added that the suspension would be in line with the disciplinary rules for senior managers, as well as with labor legislation, giving Mosola the opportunity to give the Council reasons why he would not be suspended.
"The rules of natural justice must be followed diligently in this respect and it must be made clear that no one has been found guilty until all investigative processes have been completed."
Mosola claimed on Facebook that "a small group of white people" addressed him after firing former Chief of Staff Marietha Aucamp. He also said that the small group had a problem with GladAfrica – a black company – that received the tender over an African one.
Msimanga also noted that the EVF had organized a walk-out and did not support this report.