03/08/2017 05:09 BST | Updated 03/08/2017 05:09 BST

Mashaba Fires Joburg Councillor Over Misconduct Allegations

The councillor allegedly took a family member along on a work trip to Spain.

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Photo by Peter Mogaki/Sowetan/Gallo Images/Getty Images

City of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba has removed the city's MMC for Economic Development Sharon Peetz from the mayoral committee on grounds of suspected misconduct following allegations that she irregularly took a family member with her on a work trip to Spain.

In a statement issued on Wednesday night, Mashaba's office said the federal executive of the DA had agreed to the move.

Peetz will now be referred to the party for consideration of further disciplinary processes in order to determine her culpability, Mashaba said.

Mashaba said the allegation against Peetz came to light during council meetings this year.

"Through a forensic investigation conducted at the time, it was determined that the City had not incurred any costs for the travel of the family member. It was therefore determined that the allegations levelled against the Cllr Peetz at the time were without merit," he said.

But recent evidence showed that the proof of payment between Peetz and the travel agent, provided by Peetz as evidence that she had paid the agent, was allegedly faked, he said.

"Further forensic investigation has been undertaken into the proof of payment. It is stressed that the money concerned remains allegedly owed to the travel agent, and it remains the case that the City has not incurred any losses."

Mashaba said Peetz had misled himself, the Council and the residents of Joburg.

"I have made it clear that, under my leadership, the City of Johannesburg will not tolerate such conduct any longer. Irrespective of one's role in the City, and irrespective of your political affiliation, there will be accountability for wrongdoing.

"The comfort that I offer the residents of our City, is that for the first time, our residents will learn of such acts of misconduct and they will see action taken.

"A new era of accountability has dawned in the City of Johannesburg. Unfortunately this has not yet removed the dishonesty that drives the actions of some individuals. It does however mean that wherever it is found, action will be taken and our residents will be informed and treated with the respect that they deserve," Mashaba said.

He said that MMC Dr Mpho Phalatse will act in Peetz' position until a new MMC for economic development is appointed.