Explosive new report accuses De Lille administration of financial irregularities

When the city council considered the report on January 5 2018‚ it ordered disciplinary action against Ebrahim and transport commissioner Melissa Whitehead‚ who were given seven days to provide reasons why they should not be suspended.

Ebrahim resigned on January 12 and left immediately‚ claiming his innocence‚ while Whitehead was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing. Her suspension remains in effect.

The council also accepted a recommendation that Bowman Gilfillan carry out a further investigation into an alleged cover-up of Whitehead’s purported wrongdoing by De Lille.

The law firm requested several extensions of its deadline for delivering the report and finally handed it to speaker Dirk Smit on Monday October 15.

All the individuals against whom allegations were made were given a chance to respond before the investigators came to their conclusion. The lengthy report reflects their responses.

Citing the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act‚ the report recommends that suspected fraud and corruption in tender proceedings relating to BYD electric buses be reported to the police.

This part of the investigation followed allegations against Whitehead levelled by ANC councillor Bheki Hadebe‚ who claimed the commissioner was involved in unfairly advantaging the Chinese company to secure a tender for electric MyCiTi buses.

Hadebe told the transport and urban development committee that council officials met BYD representatives in China and in Whitehead’s boardroom before the tender was advertised. He also claimed the company wrote the specifications for the tender.

Council documents in the possession of TimesLIVE show that on August 24 2015‚ council contract management chief Sidney Pretorius wrote to John Martheze‚ manager of operations integration in Whitehead’s department‚ saying: “We are in the process of facilitating procurement of electric buses from BYD.”

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