'We're particularly disturbed by the priggish arrogance of' Trollip: Specialists at centre of Mohlaleng Media probe

SEPTEMBER 12, 2016

Former journalist, Vukile Pokwana, and Grant Pascoe, the media specialists at the centre of an investigation into alleged irregular expenditure in a multimillion Rand tender awarded to Mohlaleng Media by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality say they welcome the investigation and hope it can clear their names. 

On Wednesday last week, Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, announced that the Metro had frozen the multimillion Rand contract pending a full internal investigation.

"We welcome any investigation into 'irregular, wasteful or unnecessary expenditure' across the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

"The NMBM must launch its imminent 'comprehensive investigation' and provide timelines and make its findings public or else we will be compelled to dismiss this as red-herring and fabulous nonsense. A speedy process will assist to clear our names and we will not be intimidated," said Pokwana and Pascoe in a joint statement.

The duo allegedly got paid huge sums over a few months of working a number of meetings at the Metro, including those held at the African National Congress (ANC) regional offices in Port Elizabeth.

"We were sourced through Mohlaleng Media’s 360 degrees communication contract to render media and communication support for the executive mayor’s office," the two explained, adding that as part of the conventions of serving in the Executive Mayor’s political office, "there was absolutely nothing wrong or illegal accompanying or attending ANC meetings as the city was until recently led by the ANC".

"We are particularly disturbed by the priggish arrogance of Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, propping baseless statement devoid of investigation findings and would like to implore him not to make sensational statements until the matter has been finalised by the investigators which he needs to appoint soonest," Pokwana and Pascoe said.

"It would be a travesty of justice if our good names are being used to sure up support of the fragile political alliances and bolster public sentiment in the Bay.

"We hold no brief for Mohlaleng Media and believe that they need to account on how 'they spent R20.8 million, although the contract was initially capped at R10-million' as reported in the media."

Mohlaleng Media, whose contract expires in December 2017, was contracted to provide media and communications services to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. However, red flags were raised when the company was reportedly allowed to spend way beyond its initial R10 million contract budget.