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Gauteng Official Involved in Illegally Accessing Offices with ARP Files under Investigation

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The Executive Mayor of the City of Joburg, Councillor Herman Mashaba said he was left in “disbelief” after learning that a Gauteng Provincial Government official in the Department of Human Settlements, allegedly illegally accessed City of Johannesburg offices containing files on the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP).

Subsequently, the City of Johannesburg’s Group Forensics Unit established that a file of documentation, pertaining to the ARP, was missing from the locked offices in which the files were being safely stored.

The forensics unit is in possession of a recorded interview with said Gauteng Provincial Government official, in which he confirms that he procured a key for these locked offices. 

In the recording the official also confirms having accessed these offices. It is worth noting that this official was formerly employed by the City of Johannesburg within the ARP project.

It has subsequently been established that the City of Johannesburg had not given permission for keys to be cut or for access to be granted to this official of the Gauteng Provincial Government. 

Mayor Mashaba said: “It is outrageous that such an act could have taken place, and highly suspicious that such sensitive documentation could be accessed by an official of the Gauteng Provincial Government.

“At a time when the City has launched a full-scale forensic investigation into the ARP, for which we can confirm evidence is now missing, this must be viewed in the most cynical light. If Premier Makhura is serious about the investigation he initiated into the ARP, he must immediately investigate the actions of this official, and determine on whose instructions this alleged act of criminality was carried out.”

He promised to ask that Parliament tables a motion to institute a multi-party Ad Hoc Committee to investigate the entire ARP, as a Presidential Priority Project initiated by President Thabo Mbeki. Mayor Mashaba said residents deserved answers “about how so much money was ploughed into the City of Johannesburg and so little improvement was derived for the people of Alexandra”.

“Should Parliament approve such a motion, I am confident that what will be discovered is an elaborate criminal syndicate of the politically connected elite who looted the ARP with impunity, with the active support of high-level political leadership,” he said.