GFIS ‘investigation’ in the CoJ a mere smokescreen to detract from scandals

Issued by Cllr Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku – DA Johannesburg Caucus Leader
15 Apr 2024 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find a soundbite in English attached here

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) is deeply concerned about the apparent manipulation of the Council speaker for political vendettas, and the suppression of reports that could jeopardise the current leadership of the Coalition of Chaos in Johannesburg.

In July of 2023 former Speaker, Colleen Makhubele announced advocate Sesi Baloyi as senior council who would lead an investigation into allegations against the Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS) in the CoJ. To this day, neither Makhubele nor Adv Baloyi have briefed the public on the outcome of that investigation, nor how much money was spent on it. We would dare to argue that there were no substantial findings.

More concerning, however, is that the speaker has still not announced an investigation into the highly irregular VIP Protection Policy.

The Speaker’s office has yet to inform Councillors or the Public of the outcome of the investigation into the public spat between MMC Kenny Kunene and MMC Dada Morero. This report was delivered to the Speaker’s Office just before Former Speaker of Council, Coleen Makhubele left office. We are still waiting for this report to be delivered to council.

Money was spent on a legal opinion and the result could possibly give clarity on the turf war between MMCs that severely impacts service delivery to the residents of Joburg.

Now, they want to spend more money on an investigation into GFIS.

GFIS’ right to operate and exist was confirmed and protected by the High Court when former GFIS Director, Gen Shadrack Sibiya took the matter to court. The ANC-PA-EFF-AL Jama-Ah coalition is bent on using rate payers’ money to render GFIS completely toothless while using their investigation tools to falsely exonerate officials implicated in alleged corruption.

They are dismembering a vital oversight body before our eyes. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the intention is to use misaligned reports produced by a captured GFIS in council to rescind decisions against ANC-EFF-PA-Al Jama-Ah aligned officials.

This attack on oversight and accountability will not be tolerated. We have submitted two PAIA requests to procure the outcomes of the concealed reports.

We will not be intimidated and will use any means at our disposal to supply the people of Johannesburg with the answers they need.

For full transparency, the Speaker must inform Council and the public, how much was spent on this report and also the details on the outcome of that report. Her unwillingness to do so has resulted in our submission of PAIA requests. We will demand answers and transparency, the CoJ will not be captured under our watch.