Fred Nel MPL
Shadow MEC of Co-operative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements
The Democratic Alliance in Gauteng will be launching an application in terms of the Public Access to Information Act (PAIA) to obtain all documents linked to the forensic investigation of the R21 million City of Joburg legal scam.
This is after the city refused to release the names of the firms involved to the DA to “prevent any legal claims that could be instituted by the firms against the city for defamation and damage to their reputation”.
The scam involved both council revenue officials and law firms employed by the city issuing irregular invoices and claiming undue payments and commission.
While is it a relief that this scam was exposed, the city has indicated in a written response to DA questions that no charges have been brought against the law firm involved.
It is imperative that the law firm is publicly named and not allowed to do any further business with government.
This incident nearly cost the people of Gauteng an enormous amount of money and we cannot risk public funds being abused in such a manner.
The city must avoid absolving itself from the responsibility to make this information public and should take stronger action against those involved to prevent any future such incidents.