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‘No idea. Ask Phalatse’: Joburg mayor on allegations of probe into new forensic investigation head

Johannesburg Mayor Thapelo Amad

Johannesburg Mayor Thapelo Amad

  • Joburg Mayor Thapelo Amad is unaware of investigations into the new anti-corruption head.
  • He was responding to claims made by the former mayor.
  • Amad said Mpho Phalatse may have information he does not. 

Newly-elected Johannesburg Mayor Thapelo Amad says he is unaware of any investigation into the new acting head of Group Forensic and Investigation Services (GFIS) Sinaye Nxumalo. 

This after the City’s former mayor, Mpho Phalatse, released a statement on Wednesday saying Nxumalo was the subject of an investigation by the very anti-corruption unit she now heads. 

Responding to this, Amad referred queries to Phalatse “because she might be in possession of certain information that l might not be privy to”.  

“In her current position, [Nxumalo] reports directly to the City manager and it is council that authorises any investigation and at this point, we are not aware of a report that has been tabled in council authorising such investigations,” Amad told News24. 

He said Nxumalo was appointed to act as the head of GFIS, but the position was still vacant. 

READ | R400m to fix Joburg water infrastructure – ‘not so fast’, say experts

Phalatse stated that the work of the municipal entities – City Power, Pikitup, Joburg Roads Agency (JRA), Joburg Water, Joburg City Parks and Zoo – had “all but grounded”. 

She said a “heavy-handed instruction” was sent to the boards to cease functional operations.  

She said this same call “was made during the 25 days the multiparty coalition was illegally removed from office; and can only be seen as a calculated move to undermine and stop ongoing investigations”. 

Amad replied that the City clarified this aspect through an interview with the acting City manager Bryne Maduka, who said no work was stopped. 

“Save to say,” Amad said, “the new administration needed to be afforded an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the City’s business, hence the placing of strategic sessions and board meetings in abeyance until the new administration had settled in and internally communicated their new strategic agenda. The notices are sent out whenever a new administration comes aboard.” 

On the rumours that the City was planning to change the boards of entities such as the JRA, Amad said that during the City’s AGM, all entities’ performance would be assessed and evaluated and the decision would be made to either retain, rotate or retire board members.  

In her statement, Phalatse noted that the mayor had missed the January deadline to table the City’s annual report. 

READ | Thapelo Amad names Joburg mayoral committee, with 5 of the 8 members from ANC

Amad responded that the report would be tabled at the next sitting of council at the end of the month. 

The mayor did not respond to the other comments by Phalatse that, “the newly elected Joburg government … has wasted no time in announcing the appointment of new acting senior managers. The new acting arrangements are designed to capture Johannesburg.” 

“The City was on a steady path towards renewal, but there is now a clear and present danger of collapse and setback in the fight against corruption,” Phalatse claimed.

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