MMC fired for alleged misconduct

MMC for Economic Development, councillor Sharon Peetz, was removed from council after allegations of misconduct. Photo: Twitter

“A new era of accountability has dawned in the CoJ, and action will be taken. Our residents will be informed and treated with the respect they deserved,” said Mayor Herman Mashaba.

He removed the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Economic Development from the Mayoral Committee on 2 August, on grounds of suspected misconduct. This move was agreed to by the Federal Executive of the Democratic Alliance (DA).

In a press release, Mashaba said that, in addition to being removed from the committee, Peetz will also be referred to the party for further disciplinary processes in order to determine her culpability.

During an earlier council meeting this year, an allegation was levelled against the MMC, that she had acted irregularly in arranging for a family member to accompany her on an official trip to Spain.

According to the spokesperson for the ANC Greater Johannesburg Region, Jolidee Mathongo, they brought the allegations forward during this meeting. “The allegations of misconduct by councillor Peetz, pointing to the fact that she had used the City of Johannesburg’s (CoJ) money to take her mother on an official trip to Spain, was brought to the council meeting. The councillor vehemently denied these allegations and claimed innocence. We expected the mayor to commit to investigate the matter, but he was silent,” he said.

He added that they believe the mayor was covering up the incident, and only decided to dismiss councillor Peetz, because he was on the verge of being exposed.

But, according to the Mayor, a forensic investigation into this matter was conducted at the time, and it was determined that the CoJ had not incurred any costs for the family member’s travel, and that the allegations were without merit.

“Recent evidence has been brought to my attention that the proof of payment from the travel agent, supplied by the councillor, was allegedly falsified, and further forensic investigation has been undertaken into this matter. Through her actions, it is my belief that councillor Peetz has misled me, the Council and the residents of Johannesburg,” said Mashaba.

He ensured residents that he will no longer tolerate such conduct from CoJ employees. “Irrespective of one’s role in the city and irrespective of your political affiliation, there will be accountability for wrongdoing. For the first time, residents will learn of such misconduct, and they will see action taken,” he said.

The MMC for Health and Social Development, councillor Mpho Phalatse, has agreed to act in councillor Peetz’s position until a new MMC has been appointed.

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Adéle Bloem

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