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GLOVES ARE OFF as Dr. Rabelani Dagada, former (MMC) of Finance at the City of Johannesburg fights back

“The truth is that Councillor Mashaba is a bully and sacked me because I stood up to him on several occasions”

Dr. Rabelani Dagada who is a Democratic Alliance PR Councillor, and former Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) of Finance at the City of Johannesburg has issued a statement responding to allegations levelled against him by the City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba.  Dr Dagada vows to clear his name on alleged false accusations, which led to him losing his top job in the City. According to Dagada, the City of johannesburg is being run by two people, namely the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Mr Michael Beaumont and Cllr Herman Mashaba. “It was only former City Manager, Trevor Fowler, former MMC – Anthony Still, and I who could say “no” to Mashaba and Beaumont,” said Dagada.
The following is an extract from the statement issued by Dr Dagada, “Since July 2017, there have been unrelenting efforts by Mayor Mashaba to remove me from the Mayoral Committee. As far as I can remember, my expulsion on Monday, 15 January 2018 was the fifth and only successful attempt to remove me from the Mayoral Committee. After my removal, a special Democratic Alliance (DA) Johannesburg Caucus meeting was convened and the Mayor informed fellow councillors that he had been trying to remove me for the last nine months. Each time the mayor wanted to remove me, various reasons would be advanced, and the DA Federal Executive (FEDEX) was not convinced. During the FedEx meeting which took place on Sunday, 14 January 2018, Councillor Mashaba threatened to resign from the party if the DA leadership did not allow him to expel me (the Mayor himself confirmed this to me). 
“My removal from the Mayoral Committee had nothing to do with the reasons contained in the public statement that the Mayor issued. In fact, there is a complete disjuncture between the issued statement and the contents of the two draft forensic investigation reports from which he claimed to have based his decision. If the Mayor was acting in good faith, why was his statement fraught with exaggerations and untruths? For example, the mayor wrote that he based his decision to sack me on the forensic report, which was concluded on Friday, 12 January 2018. This is untrue because, on the aforementioned date, my lawyer and I made submissions to the investigators late in the afternoon. On the same date, and late at night – I had to resend my input after the investigators claimed that they did receive the email. Actually, by mid-February 2018, final reports pertaining to the two investigations were not yet issued.
"When several attempts to remove me became futile, some of the officials who were assisting the Executive Mayor to sack me allegedly embarked on illegal activities"


“The truth is that Councillor Mashaba is a bully and sacked me because I stood up to him on several occasions. Firstly, I wrote an email questioning the increasing accumulation of political executive powers by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Mr Michael Beaumont. While his responsibility was to provide administrative support to the Mayor and head-up the Mayor’s private office, Beaumont was taking over some responsibilities of the Leader of Executive Business, and Members of Mayoral Committee (MMCs). In effect, Beaumont had become a de facto Executive Deputy Mayor. My criticism was not taken well by both Councillor Mashaba and Beaumont. 
“Matters came to a head on Friday, 27 April 2017 when, in the presence of other MMCs and some officials, I reminded both the Mayor and his Chief of Staff that as long as I am MMC for Finance, they should not treat me like a token. We were at a break-away session in Kievits Kroon, north-eastern Pretoria, attending a Strategic Partners Lekgotla with other coalition partners and the Economic Freedom Fighters to discuss the 2017/2018 Budget. The programme and all other arrangements were done without my involvement. My name did not even feature in the programme, notwithstanding the fact that I was the portfolio head of Finance. Henceforward, my relationship with Councillor Mashaba and Beaumont worsened. Thereafter, they would go out of their way to defame, embarrass, and make my presence in the Mayoral Committee unbearable and intolerable.
“Since the first attempt to sack me in July 2017, I realised that I had lost my battle with them and since then – the City is literally run by two people, Councillor Mashaba and Beaumont. It was only former City Manager, Trevor Fowler, former MMC – Anthony Still, and I who could say “no” to Mashaba and Beaumont.
“Now that the three of us are gone, Mayor Mashaba and Beaumont have usurped the responsibilities of the Mayoral Committee, City Manager (Accounting Officer), Caucus Management, and in some instances the powers of the Council. Some Heads of Departments would by-pass the City Manager, and their political heads (MMCs) and report directly to Beaumont. For the last few months, he is chauffeur-driven by the JMPD; thanks to the minority coalition government. Even the African National Congress that Mayor Mashaba despises does not display such excesses. 
“When several attempts to remove me became futile, some of the officials who were assisting the Executive Mayor to sack me allegedly embarked on illegal activities. It is my contention that although both Councillor Mashaba and Beaumont harboured immense hatred towards me, they were not aware, not part of, and would not have approved these alleged illegal activities. 
“The above-mentioned unlawful activities included putting pressure and colluding with some staff members to manufacture allegations against me; putting me under surveillance by monitoring my movements and bugging my phones. During the Mayoral Lekgotla, which took place from Monday, 13 to Wednesday, 15 November 2017, a staff member who worked for the Group Forensic Investigation Services (GFIS) advised me not to sleep in the room allocated to me because bugging devices were installed, and thus I had to sleep at home.
“After being removed from the Mayoral Committee, the same GFIS official visited me at my home and advised me to tread carefully because I was still under surveillance. I apparently angered his line manager by threatening to go to the High Court to have the forensic reports reviewed. He further informed me that had I remained in the Mayoral Committee beyond January 2018, I would have been “eliminated”. This is what happens when (allegedly) rogue officials create an illegal intelligence gathering function and irregular slush fund, which is mainly funded by bribes from some of the investigating companies.
“There is a perception that forensic investigation contracts are overpriced at the City of Johannesburg. My informer told me that some forensic investigating companies have started complaining that there is a rogue official who demands a lot of money (kickbacks) and one company was instructed to add R3-million on an R2-million investigation. A comparison of forensic investigation expenditure with the City of Tshwane found that, while Tshwane has spent about R12-million in investigations, Johannesburg had overspent by R80-million.
“The unsubstantiated allegations relied upon to remove me were contrived in a well-calculated stratagem to terminate my political role within the City of Johannesburg Mayoral Committee and to abruptly end my political career within the DA
•      In a desperate move to achieve the above-mentioned stratagem, the bounds of proper, lawful, and ethical conduct were exceeded inter alia the so-called investigations
•      It is a matter of record that numerous unsuccessful attempts were on several occasions made to remove me as the MMC for Finance in the City of Johannesburg. These attempts failed because there was not an iota of evidence pointing to any wrongdoing on my part. This led to clandestine, crooked methods being employed to manufacture damning evidence against me
•      The allegations against me were contrived in long harboured attempts by the Executive Mayor to remove me as the MMC for Finance.
– reads part of the statement.

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