Pretoria – The former ANC-led City of Tshwane administration has again found itself under fire after the EFF on Thursday laid charges of corruption and maladministration against it at the Pretoria Central police station.
Council debutant EFF is accusing the previous administration of using city-owned billboards to promote the ANC ahead of the August 3 local government elections.
The EFF opened a case of corruption and maladministration against officials in the municipality’s communication, marketing and events division, as well as the former executive mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
According to the EFF, the billboards were hired and paid for by the city. However, three weeks before the elections they were used to advertise the ANC and had pictures of President Jacob Zuma, as well as the party logo and colours. Financial resources of the city were thus used to boost the electoral fortunes of the ANC in its dismal bid to win the city again, the EFF said.
Its regional chairman Benjamin Disoloane said the billboards were designated for the promotion of city projects or related issues.
“We opened cases against the former mayor and city officials because we found there were some billboards that had been booked for the Ntirhisano programme, but utilised by the ANC towards the elections,” Disoloane said.
They were able to check with companies sub-contracted for the billboards and found that the city had booked them for the ANC.
“The challenge with doing (that) is that those companies said the billboards were booked by the city, but during the elections we found that the ANC was advertising with Zuma’s face on them,” he said.
“We had been initially told that there were no billboards booked by the city. We want those who were responsible for this to be brought to book and for the truth to come out,” Disoloane said.
On Wednesday, mayor Solly Msimanga laid charges against three high-ranking officials and directors of three entities following a forensic report which accused the six of allegedly misusing R190 million on refurbishments of Pretoria City Hall and the mayor’s official residence.
Disoloane lamented the poor service at the police station after spending nearly four hours trying to lay the charges. During that time, a suspect almost escaped after allegedly disarming an officer and running out of the station.
The suspect ran into the adjacent building which forms part of the station’s premises but he was re-arrested.