Still: I was unable to follow Mashaba’s instruction

Anthony Still, former MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Development in the City of Johannesburg, removed on 14 February by Mayor Herman Mashaba, said he was unable to follow the mayor’s instruction because of due legal processes that had to unfold.

Still said he was sacked as the head of the department that oversees Pikitup, Johannesburg Water, City Power and other service delivery entities because he would not suspend City Power managing director Sicelo Xulu while investigations into allegations against him are underway.

Mashaba made public last week that an independent forensic investigation into City Power tenders valued at billions of rand is underway.

Still said he was not against the investigation but he did not have the legal authority to suspend Xulu. “Only the board can suspend him,” Still said.

The fight for his position as MMC is, however, already water under the bridge. A new MMC, Nico de Jager, has already assumed office in Still’s place.

Mashaba said MMC de Jager has the tenacity to address the serious issues that plague the delivery of services from the City entities that operate under this department.

“I regard this to be the most important aspect of any candidate for this position. The change that has been required by the voters of Johannesburg requires this kind of tenacity, to which I refer, to deliver it.”

The Speaker of Council in the City, Vasco Da Gama, said the MMCs serve at the pleasure of the mayor. He added that this was not a sudden move, but that conversations between Still and Mashaba have been underway for months.

“The mayor has the right to decide and I have to go with it. He has led the City in the right direction thus far,” Da Gama said.

Mashaba said the two ‘held a difference of opinion on the approach to tackling matters of investigations into alleged fraud and corruption within City Power’.

Still said that he was keen on stopping corruption, but that it must happen one step at a time. He will stay on at the City as a PR councillor and he will continue in the party and ‘see how it unfolds’.

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