‘How to Steal a City’ allegations to be probed

Johannesburg – Allegations contained in Crispian Olver’s book, How to Steal a City, will be investigated, Nelson Mandela Bay’s chief of staff, Kristoff Adelbert, said.

He pointed out that Olver, referred to as a staunch ANC member, mentioned at his book launch in Port Elizabeth on Monday that the allegations could be substantiated.

“The allegations are centred around large-scale corruption, implicating a number of officials, service providers, politicians, and councillors at different scales of involvement,” Adelbert said.

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In a statement, he said that several contracts had already been frozen and a number of officials suspended.

Adelbert could not provide specific numbers for those who had been suspended, fired or were facing disciplinary action for involvement in corruption.

Investigations ‘ongoing’

However, he vowed to pursue anyone mentioned, regardless of their political affiliation.

“The book suggests that millions of rands have been and continue to be stolen, with the housing department and Integrated Public Transport System [IPTS] being most affected. Any investigations that are ongoing will continue and, if some of the allegations turn out to be untrue, they will not be pursued further,” Adelbert said.

Former IPTS director, Mhleli Tshamase, was suspended in 2015 for alleged irregularities in the R2.5 billion project.

Mvuleni Mapu was also no longer in his housing position. Nelson Mandela Metro Bay was taken over in 2016 by a multiparty coalition government comprising the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the Freedom Front Plus (FFP), the Congress of the People (Cope), and the United Democratic Movement (UDM).

“The Metro is moving forward again. The effects of corruption and political interference [are] felt by all. But the days of corruption in Nelson Mandela Bay are over. This is a new era,” read a statement.