UPDATE: Mayor Mashaba responds to ANC’s accusation on Field Band Foundation

City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has responded to the allegations of corruption levelled against him by the opposition ANC party in the metro saying they are baseless and unsurprising. Photo: Thabo Jobo

 

City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has responded to the allegations of corruption involving R11 million. The ANC accused him of diverting it to his ‘favourite’ foundation.

The article, Mashaba is corrupt – ANC was published in the North Eastern Tribune, Week ending 19 October.

ANC Johannesburg regional chairperson, Geoff Makhubo, made the accusations during the party’s mass march held outside the Council offices in Braamfontein, Johannesburg

”I am disappointed, but unsurprised, by the baseless accusations made by the ANC against myself with regard to the City’s support of the Field Band Foundation,” said the mayor.

According to Mashaba, the Field Band Foundation is a non-government organisation (NGO) that has over the last 20 years, provided over
70 000 children from broken families and child-headed households opportunities of expression through the arts.

He added that the success of this NGO is world renown, and the information is publically available in this respect.

“The fact that the ANC is willing to make a political issue out of my family’s historical personal support for this NGO just demonstrates how low they are willing to stoop. The role played by children finding expression in the arts, as a means to combat drug abuse is well-documented. The City’s strategy to combat substance abuse makes this a central component in its efforts.”

In February last year, the mayor said the City held a discussion on its strategy to combat the scourge of drugs, a critical component of which is their support of NGOs who work in affected communities to provide young people with a path away from drugs.

“During this engagement, I suggested social development look into the Field Band Foundation.

“Social development engaged with the Field Band Foundation and received a proposal which was assessed and determined to be of value to the City – through the powers afforded to MMCs, a grant was approved and tabled in the Mayoral Committee,” said Mashaba.

“While the ANC would have our residents believe that this was improper, it was done in the open in forums involving many City officials. It was formally recorded in a report to the mayoral committee – hardly the efforts of a government seeking to hide something.”

He added: “It is worth noting that a number of municipalities and the National Department of Arts and Culture support the Field Band Foundation. My family has donated historically to this organisation, continuing to do so today, and I have chaired the NGO for many years.”

“I do not seek to hide my involvement in the many worthy causes my family have been involved in supporting over the years. However, I do not conflate the two, and the City continues to thoroughly assess any proposal through the correct legal processes.”

The mayor emphasised that he derives no benefit from the City supporting the Field Band Foundation, and said he has derived no benefit from the NGO over the many years of his support for it.

The work performed by this organisation is something which should be celebrated by the residents of our City, said Mashaba.

“As I have always indicated, the multi-party government operates openly and transparently with nothing to hide. We welcome scrutiny and have demonstrated this throughout this term of office. We observe that the ANC offers no evidence to back their claim of undue influence, relying on insinuation and political conjecture.”

These tactics by the ANC must be viewed as an effort to disrupt the work of our government, and the efforts to deliver change to the residents of our City, he said adding that they should be viewed and responded to with contempt.

“Our efforts to tackle drug abuse in the City represents a clear break from the past where previous administrations took the approach of folding their hands. We have opened the first of five drug rehabilitation facilities in City’s clinics, launched the K9 Narcotics Unit and developed a comprehensive strategy to tackle this massive challenge.”

Details: www.joburg.org.za

  AUTHOR
Thabo Jobo

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