The executive mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba has sacked Johannesburg’s MMC for Environmental and Infrastructure Services Anthony Still.
Mashaba announced in a letter on Tuesday that Still will be stepping down with immediate effect. He disclosed that he and Still hold different views on how to deal with allegations of corruption and fraud at City Power.
Earlier this month, the mayor launched an investigation at the City Power after serious allegations and information surrounding City Power tenders were made known to him.
Speaking at the time, Mashaba’s spokesperson Tony Taverna-Turisan said Mashaba was not at ease with City Power after he was overwhelmed by fraudulent allegations and complaints going on in the firm.
“These tenders are worth billions of rand. This is an enormous amount of money and that’s public money. For the mayor to sit on that information and not act immediately would be a dereliction of his duties to the residents of the city,” he said at the time.
Mashaba’s statement on Still’s dismissal read:
“It is with regret that I announce that MMC Anthony Still, serving in the Environmental and Infrastructure Services Department, will be standing down effective today, Tuesday, 14 February 2017.
MMC Still has served the City of Johannesburg in various roles for a considerable period of time. His knowledge on matters of infrastructure services has been invaluable.
I have sat down with MMC Still and discussed the matter extensively. Unfortunately, we held a difference of opinion on the approach to tackling matters of investigations into alleged fraud and corruption within City Power.
I am firm of the view that I require a team of MMCs who share my commitment to tackling matters of alleged fraud and corruption in the City. This is what the residents of our City have demanded and I will remain unapologetic in my commitment to deliver on it.”
He equally announced that Councillor Nico De Jager has been appointed as the new MMC.
Mashaba disclosed that MMC De Jager has served as a Councillor in the City of Johannesburg since 2005 and that he has a tertiary qualification in Public Administration.
He expressed confidence that the new MMC will bring his wealth of experience and skills to bear in rooting out corruption and serving the city with distinction.
Meanwhile, Anthony Still confirmed his dismissal to reporters in the morning.
Reacting to the development, Still told reporters: “I did not expect this. I thought I had a lot to offer. I was not against the investigation of City Power staff, but I was against suspending the managing director.”
The African National Congress (ANC) had predicted Still’s dismissal on Monday in a press release. They also alleged that Mashaba could fire Still for refusing to appoint his candidate as Pikitup managing director.
Reports had it that Still and Mashaba had a difference of opinion on the suspension of City Power managing director Sicelo Xulu. Still had told Mashaba not to suspend Xulu as doing so will be a waste of expenditure but Mashaba disagreed with him.