GladAfrica: Mosola rejected calls to allow bidding process
The proposal had come from departments under municipal chief operations officer James Murphy, who is responsible for implementation under service delivery departments, including Housing and Human Settlements, Roads and Transport and Utility Services.
The terms of reference for the tender included management, planning, implementation and operation of the Integrated Public Transport Network, part of which is the A Re Yeng bus rapid transit system.
Instead, Mosola forged ahead with the procurement of GladAfrica to the tune of R12billion over three years.
Sources close to the procurement process told the Pretoria News Mosola was determined to go ahead with the procurement of GladAfrica as far back as March 2017, and subsequently disregarded motivations for a panel of service providers.
The interim report of a council-mandated investigation by Bowmans - procured by Murphy as approved by council - has found that the City did not follow provisions of the Municipal Finance Management Act when it entered into the deal with GladAfrica, thus implicating Mosola as accounting officer. However, it did not call for anyone to be taken to task at this stage; Bowmans recommended that a full investigation be instituted as a matter of urgency. The scandal has since strained the relationship between Mosola and Executive Mayor Solly Msimanga to possibly a point of no repair.
It is also before the Labour Court, where Mosola successfully interdicted Msimanga, council and speaker Katlego Mathebe from tabling the interim report report to council last month.
He presented several arguments, including that Murphy was conflicted because he was part of the implementation of the GladAfrica tender.
He also said he had not been interviewed and questioned on the lawfulness and independence of the investigation. The matter was postponed on Friday after Murphy intervened at the 11th hour, concerned that Mosola had implicated him in the procurement of GladAfrica.
Murphy’s intervention was to clear his name and draw the attention of the Labour Court to the fact that Mosola had allegedly lied under oath by saying in his founding affidavit that the chief operations officer had played a role in the appointment of GladAfrica.
In court on Friday, Mosola’s lawyers asked for time to deal with the issues raised by Murphy and will do so by the end of this week. Thereafter, the parties will approach the Judge President for a trial date.
On the sidelines, Mosola asked council and Mathebe to investigate Msimanga and the DA-led administration for allegedly leaking an interdicted interim report to the media. He said they were the only ones who received it from “their henchmen lawyers” Bowmans.
According to a source privy to the case, “Mosola’s antics are a tactic to delay the completion of the investigation. He had ample opportunity to file a responding affidavit to Murphy’s application”.
“He should have anticipated that Murphy would challenge his allegation in his founding affidavit. You don’t make an allegation in a court document and expect the person against whom the allegation is directed to keep mum.
So, he should have anticipated that and filed a responding affidavit. If the completion of the report is delayed, it works in Mosola’s favour because council is going on recess next month, which will delay the release of the final Bowmans report.”
In terms of the leaked interim report, the next phase will involve interviewing implicated individuals and committees. “If Mosola is as innocent as he claims, he should allow the investigation to run its course and he will have the opportunity to state his side of the story in the process.
“But he seems hellbent on preventing the report - interim and final - from seeing the light of the day,” the source said.
Mosola refused to comment. “It is not in the character of the City to conduct its internal investigations in the media or comment on matters before our courts. Suffice to say, the matter is under investigation.
“All the City’s internal policies are being strictly followed and only after the process is concluded and recommendations made will the council release a formal statement.”