How Tshwane got captured. City Manager buying soccer team for millions

 How Tshwane got captured. City Manager buying soccer team for millions

There is a hot mess in Tshwane as both the ANC and the EFF threaten to bring the DA down, for different reasons.

And the man in the centre of it, Moeketsi Mosola, is buying Bloemfontein Celtic for R40 million, together with a partner.

Moeketsi Mosola appears to have been mayor Tshepiso Msimanga's personal choice as the new City Manager of Tshwane when he was appointed in January 2017.

The DA announced his appointment with glee as a true example of black exellence in management.

Now the man who they appointed after they scrapped the shortlist and started the headhunting from scratch could be their undoing after revelations in the Sunday Times two weeks ago that Mosola appointed a consultancy group called GladAfrica last year that acts as a gatekeeper or middleman for appointing outside engineering companies needed for City of Tshwane infrastructure spend.

Make no mistake this is a huge scandal.

It appears on the face of it that a firm of consultants, GladAfrica, captured the City of Tshwane because they, and only they, will decide who is appointed to do big infrastructure projects for the City.

And it has huge cost implications for the City of Tshwane.

But let us first go back to how Mosola got appointed.

Msimanga's spokesperson, Sam Mgobozi, admitted at the time that the shortlist of 5 people who had applied for the position of City Manager had been scrapped and that the mayor then went headhunting for another candidate.

Even the ANC objected at the time, saying that Mosola did not have a municipal finance management programme certificate, a prerequisite when applying for the position of city manager.

Mgobozi, the mayor's spokesman, said at the time the selection panel decided it needed to consider "a broader spectrum" of individuals that had applied.

ANC Tshwane spokesperson and council member Lesego Makhubela said at the time that of the shortlisted group, which did not include Mosola, all candidates had sufficient experience in the city manager's office.

All five had the required certificate.

Msimanga's office told News24 that  :

"what made Mosola stand out from the rest of the candidates was his "fresh, new and dynamic thinking.

This did not mean the other candidates were unqualified, but rather that the mayor exercised his discretion to go with an outsider, and not someone already party of the establishment."

 

READ : Msimanga sticks to his guns over city manager appointment

 

Here it must be mentioned that Mosola worked mostly in tourism, having worked for three years as chief operations officer of Tourism SA and then five years as acting CEO of Brand SA.

 

READ : Suspended city boss a colourful character

 

Ok, that was the political speak from the DA at the time which we know all parties in South Africa use when spinning a certain decision to the public.

Remember that the DA depended on the EFF for support as the DA did not get an outright majority in the August 2016 local elections.

In short, without EFF electoral support, there would be no DA administration.

The EFF elected not to go into a formal coalition with the DA and not to take up posts in the administration.

But did they exercise pressure on the DA to appoint a certain candidate as City Manager?

Was Mosola their trojan horse from the start?

And Mosola was certainly a political man, having been the former political director of Agang SA, a party that we knew fell flat.

Could it be that the EFF pushed Mosola for the City Manager's position to get funding kicked back to them in exchange for landing him the city manager position?

Speculation, I know, but consider that Malema made it clear this week that he did not support Moeketsi Mosola's suspension, which appears to have prompted him to announce the EFF's intent for a no confidence motion against Msimanga.

Malema has said Mosola was being punished because he suspected Msimanga of hiring former Tshwane chief of staff Marietha Aucamp, though she did not possess the required qualifications.

 

READ : Msimangas mayoral seat under threat as Malema/ANC plot no confidence motions

 

It must be noted that although Aucamp did not have a tertiary qualification, she was a longtime DA party worker who was never accused of any wrongdoing and was in fact praised for the work she had done in downsizing the bloated staff complement of the mayor left behind by the ANC.

Another dot that needs connecting here is the EFF jumping to the defence of state capture kingpin Tom Moyane, the suspended SARS boss, and Zuma783's right hand man.

Here it was also a funding issue as a new leadership at SARS could well go after the EFF funder Adriano Mazotti, a tobacco smuggler and tax dodger.

That the taxpayers of Tshwane is fleeced through the GladAfrica deal is certain and it certainly constitute capture of the municipal infrastructure spend.

That capture goes hand in hand with some real avaricious trough eating by GladAfrica.

And Moeketsi Mosola has just found time to buy a soccer team, Bloemfontein Celtic, for R40 million together with a partner.

 

READ : Celtic in midst of sale

 

Where does Mosola get that kind of money?

GladAfrica kickbacks?

I have to ask and the matter should certainly be investigated.

The Sunday Time reported extensively on the matter for 2 Sundays in a row and I will quote some paragraphs from their reporting.

Once you read this, you will realise the seriousness of the matter and that this story is important to know, especially if you are a long suffering ratepayer of the City of Tshwane.

Engineering consultancy accused of looting the City - Sunday Times August 12, 2018 .

READ : Shared: Engineering consultancy is bleeding the City of Tshwane dry

In short the Sunday Times has reported that Mosola appointed a third party outside consultant, GladAfrica, that acts as the sole decider of which outside engineering companies gets tenders for the City's R12 billion infrastructure spend.

GladAfrica takes a commission of 10% of each project, meaning that they will earn at least R1,2 billion, just in commissions.

But that is not all :

I quote from the Sunday Times linked article :

Over and above pocketing a fee of 10% of the value of each project that it manages, the company also charges the city between R2,000 and R4,000 an hour for contracting skilled professionals such as engineers, project managers, accountants and legal experts. "

It must also be noted that not only was the appointment against legal advice at the time, but that both the finance head of the City and the Chief Operations Officer were against the GladAfrica appointment also.

I quote the Sunday Times :

In the legal opinion, senior counsel JD Maritz said the city should have followed proper supply chain management processes in contracting the firm, as regulations allowing it to bypass this process did not apply in this case. "

" In November, after the consultancy was appointed, the city's COO, James Murphy, warned Mosola that bringing in GladAfrica was not a good idea as the company charged exorbitant consultancy rates, more than what had been paid for similar work in the past. "

It looks like the taxpayers of Tshwane forked out an amount of at least R250 million to GladAfrica since November last year.

PEOPLE, THIS IS WHAT NKANDLA COST !

And at least we got rondawels and a firepool for the R250 BAR we splashed out on Nkandla !

The taxpayers of Tshwane forked out that amount just for consultancy services!

Quote from the Sunday Times linked article again :

"These guys don't do the work, they are middlemen.

They subcontract all the work.

This is looting" said the city official, who asked not to be named.

He said "the arrangement was the same as that which Gupta-linked firm Trillian had with entities such as Eskom and Transnet. "

Even more shocking revelations came in this past Sunday's Sunday Times newspaper and I will again quote from the report.

Meanwhile in Tshwane the gravy train continues to roll forward, under the "not so watchful" glare of the DA.

Consultants working for an engineering firm hired by the City of Tshwane at R400m a year are using a prime city-owned building and all its resources for free.

GladAfrica is managing Tshwane's infrastructure projects in a three-year contract and with a budget of about R12bn.

It has 30 consultants based in the city's Infotech building in the suburb of Hatfield.

The consultants work in marketing and communications, systems planning, operations, legal, and finance.

One of the projects is the city's A Re Yeng bus rapid transit system.

Some consultants charge up to R4,000 an hour yet all use the resources in the municipal building, including telephones and internet, without paying.

An invoice submitted by the company in June shows that GladAfrica charged the city R14.8m for the month.

The Sunday Times reported last week that since November GladAfrica had billed R250m for work in the city's roads and transport division.

City manager Moeketsi Mosola ignored warnings from the city's CFO and other officials as well as legal advice not to hire the consultants, it is alleged.

Mosola this week defended his decision, but city insiders said it was difficult to verify the consultants' billing hours.

The sources said that in the past consultants would produce time sheets that would be approved by senior officials before payments were made.

This had not been the case with GladAfrica, they said.

"There are no time sheets, they just bill directly. They can claim for hours they have not worked," said an official.

Umar Banda, the city's CFO, had advised against contracting GladAfrica through a deal that guaranteed the company 10% in project management fees.

He said it was against regulations to take money meant for building roads, clinics and maintaining other infrastructure to pay commissions to consultants.

In a report prepared for Tshwane's executive adjudication committee, which would decide whether to award the contract, Banda said that because GladAfrica was charging 10% in project management fees, it would be guaranteed R377m of the R3.7bn budgeted for capital expenditure in the 2018/2019 financial year, and R422m of the R4.2bn set aside for capital projects in the 2019/2020 financial year.

The fees due to GladAfrica would have to be ring-fenced by the departments that needed building or maintenance work done.

Banda pointed out that project management services provided by GladAfrica were operational in nature and so the fees charged by the consultancy could not be taken out of Tshwane's capital budget, which was to be used strictly for infrastructure projects.

"Taking the above into consideration, the group financial services department cannot support the ring-fencing of capital expenditure budget to fund the services of a professional service provider for project management services," he said in the report.

Mosola, however, ignored this!

He also dissolved the same executive adjudication committee after it had advised against the move and replaced it with a new committee.

Mosola denied that he dissolved the committee, saying he only changed its name from executive adjudication committee to bid adjudication committee, in line with legislation.

"New officials were added to the committee" he said.

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimang said he has instituted an investigation of the contract and this would determine what steps he would take.

ANC Tshwane chairman Kgosi Maepa has called on the city to suspend Mosola pending the outcome of an investigation of the awarding of the contract. Such an investigation should be conducted by the public protector, the party said. "