The Johannesburg Speaker authorised an investigation into alleged corruption and fraud in the city that allegedly implicates both officials and councillors. As per Jacaranda FM, the decision comes after the Municipal Council approved a report highlighting irregular and unlawful investigations conducted by the Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS) under the previous administration, targeting political opponents and victimising senior officials.
According to the Speaker’s office, the investigation was prompted by disclosures made by an official involved in the alleged rogue investigations and complaints submitted to former Speaker of Council Vasco da Gama and former mayor Mpho Phalatse. The statement further suggests that these complaints were suppressed to protect certain individuals associated with the questionable investigations.
This investigation follows closely on the heels of allegations against the current mayor, Kabelo Gwamanda, who is facing accusations of swindling and scamming Soweto residents through a funeral services scheme operated through iThemba Lama Afrika. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is currently investigating these allegations.
The authorised investigation will delve into the unlawful investigations conducted by GFIS and pre-employment screening reports aimed at disqualifying qualified candidates. It will also examine the evidence the State Security Agency (SSA) provided regarding using Digital Forensic Equipment (DFE) capable of remotely accessing, intercepting, and storing electronic communication without the owner’s knowledge.
Additionally, the investigation will explore allegations of senior managers and councillors engaging in reporting arrangements and performing crime intelligence functions. It will also encompass allegations of fraud in the appointment processes.
In a statement, Speaker Makhubele appealed to the affected parties to cooperate with the investigation and requested interested parties to allow the City of Johannesburg the necessary space to handle the matter with the care and sensitivity it deserves.
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