GladAfrica scandal – Mosola quietly concedes tender was irregular, says official

Embattled municipal manager of the City of Tshwane Moeketsi Mosola has done an about-turn regarding the GladAfrica scandal, conceding that the expenditure for the tender was in fact irregular as stated by the Auditor General (AG).

Tshwane member of the mayoral committee for finance Mare-Lise Fourie told News24 that around R317m spent on the GladAfrica tender, which is a R12bn contract, had been found to be irregular. This was also conceded by Mosola.

“The AG in accordance with his mandate expressed an opinion on the financial statements which concluded that the GladAfrica contract is irregular,” Fourie told News24.

“The city manager, as the accounting officer, then had to concede and disclose the expenditure in the financial statements as irregular. If he didn’t do so the City would have received a qualified audit.”

Fourie explained that after the City received the preliminary report from the AG, Mosola, as the accounting officer, amended the financial statements to disclose the irregular expenditure.E

“If a contract has been deemed to have been concluded irregularly (as has been declared by the AG and stated in the financial statements) then all other expenditure thereon is [also] considered irregular,” Fourie told News24.

When asked by News24 if he had conceded that the GladAfrica expenditure was irregular, Mosola said that it was not in the character of the City of Tshwane to conduct its internal investigations through the media.

“Suffice to say, the matter is currently under investigation. All the City of Tshwane internal policies are being strictly followed and only after the process is concluded and recommendations made, will the city council release a formal statement,” Mosola said.

Non-compliance with regulations, law

This appears to be a U-turn by the city manager who last year publicly denied allegations of wrongdoing and claimed that all processes were followed in the awarding of the tender.

Mosola, in a statement in August 2018 also said that all processes were followed in appointing GladAfrica in compliance with the legislative prescripts governing the City of Tshwane’s supply chain management as well as the Municipal Finance Management Act.

However, in the preliminary audit findings of the AG, which News24 has seen, the AG found non-compliance with the municipal supply chain management regulations.R

This included failure to prove demonstrable discounts or benefits for the municipality as well as the fact that the City procured beyond the terms and conditions of the original contract.

The AG also found that there was inadequate separation of duties in accordance with the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) as Mosola was the initiator of the process that led to the appointment of GladAfrica. He determined the objectives of the project management unit and approved the processes to be followed.

“This is not in accordance with paragraph 115(1) of the MFMA best practice. The procurement process should have been initiated by the supply chain management department.”

Furthermore, the AG also found that payments were made to two services providers (GladAfrica Project Managers and GladAfrica Consulting Engineers), totalling over R300m despite the fact that a contract was only concluded between the City and GladAfrica Project Managers.

Attempts to fire Mosola

Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga, who announced his resignation last week, went to council twice in 2018 in a bid to have the city manager dismissed.

In September, Msimanga brought to council allegations of wrongdoing pertaining to the GladAfrica appointment on the city manager’s part. An independent investigation was authorised, but Mosola was not suspended by council.

A report by law firm Bowmans was due to be tabled in council, but this was stopped by the Labour Court after it granted an application, brought by Mosola, to interdict the tabling of the report. Judgment in this respect has not been delivered.

Msimanga’s second bid to have the city council issue a notice of intention to suspend the city manager failed during the November council sitting.R

Msimanga tabled a report detailing a string of misconduct allegations against Mosola that are said to have occurred after the allegations surrounding the GladAfrica debacle surfaced.

The tabling of the report, which took place behind closed doors, did not result in a vote on whether to place the city manager on a precautionary suspension after the ANC moved for an amendment to defer the matter to January’s sitting of council.

This deferment was supported by the EFF and the PAC, while the DA, ACDP and FF Plus voted against deferring the matter to the new year.

News24

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