Ricochet News

'I'm innocent, the PwC forensic report will show' - Bobani claims Trollip has vendetta against him

Mar 8, 2018
'I'm innocent, the PwC forensic report will show' - Bobani claims Trollip has vendetta against him

Former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Deputy Mayor, who is also the Regional Chairperson of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Mongameli Bobani, on Thursday accused Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Athol Trollip, of waging a campaign to smear his name and not making public a forensic report that would otherwise prove Bobani's innocence of the allegations that were used to remove him from being Deputy Mayor.

"Speaking to the reports on Milongani Eco-Consulting and Litter Pickers at a news conference on Wednesday, Executive Mayor Athol Trollip said, 'Yes there is a politician implicated in here. The previous deputy mayor is implicated and he refused to give a statement. He denied every allegation. All he simply did through his attorneys was he denied it. So, you know, that… seems, uh, you know, quite, uhrm, irregular in my eyes.

"If somebody charged me with doing things or asked me to give an explanation, I would give a comprehensive explanation. Well the time will come for him to give a comprehensive explanation. I he chose not to do it to the forensic investigators he’ll have to do it with the criminal justice system'," Bobani quoted.

"The uhms speak to a man not convinced of his version of the narrative. What are the allegations against me? Only Trollip will know as no-one had told me, despite the vague request for an explanation."

He said that when Trollip demanded that he submits to an interrogation by PwC "in absence of specific charges, I suggested that PwC rather provide questions".

Read the questions and answers HERE.

"There was not a single allegation among the questions [from PwC], and Trollip’s lame suggestion that I 'denied every allegation' is ludicrous and without purchase in reality.

"It seems that Trollip’s proof of evidence against me is my refusal to be bullied by 'the baas' into giving his investigators a 'comprehensive explanation'," Bobani said.

"I am, according to a source familiar with the investigation; and the preparation, and the editing of the reports, not implicated. I had exercised my rights in refusing to be interviewed by the investigators after Trollip smeared me in the media without opportunity for resource, while I was still Deputy Mayor. Some politicians are simply more grown-up than others.

"PwC received specific internal audit advice to consult me for information."

He said that Trollip continued to say; "The only reason that I am not giving [the reports] to you today is that the firm of attorneys drawing up the charges they said that they would do that by the 21st of March. I don’t want to give you a document until the charges have actually been laid, because it could be prejudicial to everybody.

"Trollip may not release the reports to the media for indemnity and conditions. And the lawyers have had five months already to draft charges – why the inordinate delay?

"The final PwC reports waved about by Trollip during his media conference remain in the exclusive possession of Trollip and the DA, as yet unseen by the media and the NMBM council. This report should already have been tabled in council," he said.

"Trollip is undermining, and is contemptuous of the independence of the NMBM council. Maybe he and the DA are of the view that councillors, except DA councillors, do not possess the intellectual capacity to deal with such matters as are contained in the hidden PwC report.

"I am not a municipal official, but a councillor. I, as any other councillor, report to council."

Bobani said that Section 54 of the Municipal Systems Act refers to the Code of Conduct for Councillors, and regulates procedure in the event of a councillor’s breach of the code.

"Therefore it was imperative for Trollip to have tabled the PwC report to council instead of unilaterally, once again, dealing with the report as if it was his own, despite council paying for the report. Trollip then instructs a firm of attorneys to formulate a 'charge sheet', and arbitrarily and unilaterally decides with these attorneys that such charges as may be will only be available on 21 March," he described.

"Currently, council learns of developments through the media! This is an untenable situation!

"The only organisation other than council that may draw up a criminal charge sheet against me is the National Director of Public Prosecutions, and certainly not a 'firm of attorneys'."

Bobani said that Trollip "clearly has not mastered municipal regulations and legislation and procedure".

"I am a councillor, and any and all accusals and charges against me must be dealt with by council, and not by lawyers briefed by the Executive Mayor! Let’s get real, Mr Trollip! It seems that Trollip’s apparent vendetta against me has compromised his judgement; has compromised good governance; has compromised service delivery.

"Trollip, again according to a source familiar with the investigation, intervened in the Mohlaleng investigation by calling the investigation badly run, and influencing the terms of reference directly," the former Deputy Mayor said.

"By the way, the city internal auditors had already been investigating Access Management and Afrisec when Trollip became Executive Mayor. Trollip is lying about his clean brooming. And if he lies about one thing… Mohlaleng Media was Trollip’s first investigation.

"Right from the beginning, the investigation was impaired as Trollip had conducted consultations with Mbuso Thabethe of Mohlaleng Media, and his Chief of Staff consulted the whistle-blower, without ever informing the forensic investigator."

He added that Trollip’s management of the Mohlaleng Media matter "is atrocious".

"A void SLA attached to a non-existent contract has to date resulted in irregular expenditure of R21.8m. The source familiar with the investigation is aware that the mayor’s chief of staff, and therefore the mayor too, had been advised that criminal charges would be lodged against a senior official," Bobani said.

"The PwC investigation into Milongani and Litter Pickers did not reveal any findings against me, period. The draft report was received by city manager, Johan Mettler, who forwarded it to Trollip. The draft report was emailed in piecemeal format from the municipal email address 'pamayor' to a personal Gmail address and 'leaked' from this Gmail address to DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, and [a local newspaper house].

"Trollip lied in order to attempt absolute executive control by abolishing the office of deputy mayor. A coalition government metro without a deputy mayor sails desperately close to dictatorship. Trollip tricked council to remove me as deputy mayor."

He said that Trollip progressed "this Bobani lie to cozen council" to abolish the office of deputy mayor.

"Trollip used a draft report by PwC, even while the drafters distanced themselves from the report, to deceive council to illicitly oust me.

"This reliance is notwithstanding, and in flagrant disregard of the embargo imposed by your Messrs Gerard Sutton and Malcolm Campbell, in a letter of 17 August 2017, to the NMBM City Manager, defining the ambit and the application of the report with which the DA and the media are making so free, in clear and unambiguous terms:

  • It is a 'Draft Report: Forensic Investigation into Alleged Irregular Payments Made to Milongani Eco Consulting'.
  • The examination was not in accordance with the International Standards on Auditing and no opinions in the report had been expressed based on these standards.
  • The report is 'for the exclusive use' of the recipient(s).
  • PwC 'will not accept any responsibility to any other party to whom our report may be shown or into whose hands it may come'."

"Trollip is again withholding the final PwC Report from council, while this final paper is reliably asserted to be silent on the matters Trollip raised against me in illicitly ousting me.

"Trollip’s odious guiles are reminiscent of those hated pre-1994 police tactics to force bespoke confessions out of 'anyone' that had been 'in the way'.

"I will in due course share more information relevant to Trollip’s vicious campaign against me."