The City of Johannesburg’s Speaker of Council, Vasco Da Gama, has released the Integrity Commissioner’s report into allegations against former Finance MMC, Dr Rabelani Dagada.
The Integrity Commissioner, an independent authority appointed by council for investigating the conduct of councillors, reportedly found similarly to the forensic investigation instituted against Dagada which led to his removal by Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba.
Mashaba has since declared that criminal charges will be laid against Dagada.
Dagada was removed early this year and responded by saying that he was the victim of a political witch-hunt. He said the Democratic Alliance(DA), his now-former party, was hell-bent on destroying his political career.
“I am now in possession of the final investigation report. Quite significant, it does not contain findings which support any of the accusations made by the Executive Mayor against me,” he wrote in his resignation letter.
“I have thus instructed my lawyers to launch an application with the High Court seeking an order reviewing and setting aside the final forensic investigation report. Moreover, at an appropriate time – I will sue Cllr Mashaba for defamation and damages.”
The mayor said Dagada’s insistence on appearing before the ethics committee to clear his name stood in contrast with his resignation in July. Disciplinary processes were still underway.
Dagada also concluded in his resignation letter that he is resigning from the DA without admitting guilt and with a clear conscience. He indicated that he would continue in public service and ‘channel my energy in fighting three evils tormenting our people – poverty, inequality, and unemployment’.
“Mr Dagada’s resignation voided any further process in respect of the matter and it was determined by the Speaker that the release of the report on this matter is in the public interest,” Mashaba said.
“The fact that the Integrity Commissioner, through an entirely independent investigation has arrived at similar conclusions, serves to demonstrate how Mr Dagada has been the author of his own demise.”
The report of the Integrity Commissioner has affirmed the findings of the forensic investigation, he said. These include the apparent non-declaration by Dagada of his directorships, helping a company which he had an existing relationship with to structure a tender offer and essentially amounting to a conflict of interest.
“Mr Dagada has gone to great and imaginative lengths to defend himself by attempting to tarnish the reputation of those who held him accountable for his actions. This has included Mr Dagada sharing elaborate conspiracy theories of witch-hunts.”