ANC accusations to be tested in independent forensic investigation

Following allegations which featured against me in various media outlets and having discussed the matter during today’s sitting of Council, I have supported the move to have these allegations tested through an independent forensic investigation.

Whilst I believe I have responded to the matter sufficiently, I have committed this multi-party government to openness and transparency in all our dealings. This is the standard which was demanded by our residents when they voted us into government, it is a standard which I have championed and will continue to promote within the City throughout my term.
I have supported the call for this independent investigation as a means of showing our residents that they have political leadership which they can have confidence in; unlike ANC administrations both here in the City and elsewhere.

This administration welcomes scrutiny; a value we demonstrated from the beginning of our term in office.
Let me be clear, I do not seek to hide my involvement in the many worthy causes my family has supported over the years. However, I do not conflate this with the duties required of me presently.

I have derived no benefit from the City supporting the Field Band Foundation, and I have derived no benefit from the NGO over the many years of my support for it.
The Field Band Foundation is an NGO that has provided over 70 000 children, over the past 20 years, from broken families and child-headed households with opportunities for development and growth.
Their success in the field of youth development make them a valuable partner in our integrated plan to fight substance abuse within our communities. Indeed, I believe that the work performed by this organisation is something which should be celebrated by the residents of our City.

Substance abuse is a complex societal problem requiring more than rehabilitation opportunities at treatment centres. It requires us changing patterns of behaviour and empowering those most vulnerable to substance abuse. In this respect, the role played by children finding expression in the arts, as a means to combat drug abuse is well-documented.

This is why the City approached this organisation as partner to for working with young people in communities most burdened by drugs.
The Department of 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.

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.
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.

At no point did I play a part in the Department’s engagements with the organisation nor was any expectation placed on officials to positively consider the organisation for the project.
I indeed look forward to having the matter fully investigated and showing, once and for all, that the latest baseless accusations by the ANC are just that, baseless.

It goes without saying that I waive my right to have this matter discussed behind the City’s closed doors. The public has every right to be party to this matter and the findings of the investigation must be made public.
It is time for the ANC’s tactics to be seen for what they really are – an effort to disrupt the work of our government and the efforts to deliver change to the residents of our city.

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