DA: ANC wants Joburg secrecy bill

2012-07-27 17:07

Johannesburg - The ANC in the City of Johannesburg wants a secrecy bill for the municipality, the Democratic Alliance claimed on Friday.

"Last night [Thursday], the African National Congress in the City of Johannesburg proposed that the city develop its own secrecy rules," spokesman Mmusi Maimane said.

He said ANC councillor Sol Cowan proposed the drafting of rules which would allow the city to classify certain documents as "sensitive", making them unavailable for public disclosure.

The DA and all other opposition parties on the city council were opposed to the proposal, Maimane said.

The ANC refused to debate the matter, and the opposition staged a walkout.

"The only motivation for implementing such rules is to cover up corruption and maladministration," Maimane said.

The ANC wanted the secrecy rules after the DA questioned the legality of contracts the city entered into for the hosting of the Miss World competition in 2008 and 2009, he said.

Maimane said over R120 million was spent on the two events.

The contracts were placed before the municipal public accounts committee (MPAC) after the DA had demanded to see them for two years, but on condition that MPAC members sign a confidentiality agreement.

The DA refused to sign the confidentiality agreement, and when the contracts came before council on Thursday night, a rule was attached which would allow for the classification of any document seen as sensitive.

Maimane said: "This is essentially a blank cheque to cover up corruption and maladministration."

Cowan said in a statement on Friday the DA's walkout had generated much hype, but they had very little background on the issues they were displeased about.

"The nub of the disagreement by the Democratic Alliance centres on the Miss World Pageant. As the newly elected chair of [MPAC] it is one of the first issues I have had to deal with."

The investigation had been running for two years, and members of all parties on the committee were given an opportunity to study the contract, on condition its contents remained confidential.

Cowan said it was highlighted that any leak would prejudice the city and leave it open to legal action.

"It must be emphasised that after having studied this confidential contract the MPAC... could not find any evidence of corruption. The Auditor General has come to the same conclusion."

If the DA had evidence to support its allegations, the committee would investigate, Cowan said.

"To date we are still awaiting the lodging of this evidence by the DA."

Cowan said when the report was tabled at the meeting, he recommended the city develop a policy which would allow councillors to view confidential contracts so executive oversight could be effective.

"The DA, in their wisdom, rejected this proposal and walked out of the council. Fortunately council supported the recommendation, and the city will begin to develop a policy on confidential clauses in contracts."

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  • gaby.hide.3 - 2012-07-27 17:19

    Soon you will have to take them to court just to get them to give you an account. Your meter reading will be declared secret and they will continue to bill you whatever the frack they please.

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-07-27 18:56

      What is really scary is that they are not even embarrassed by their blatant corruption.

  • johan.maree.5036 - 2012-07-27 18:43

    "The DA and all other opposition parties on the city council were opposed to the proposal", that means only ANC left, "Fortunately council supported the recommendation", that means only the corrupt ANC voted yes, because they want to cover up their EVIL DEEDS!

  • andre.webster.10 - 2012-07-27 18:47

    1 word with 7 letters - CORRUPT!

  • Erna - 2012-07-27 18:59

    If there is nothing wrong with the contract why would they fear legal action?

  • Vince.York - 2012-07-27 20:37

    Joburg has had so many RTrillions stolen and more still to go by these councilors, that they have to have secrecy as their dark sidekick to help them avoid direct violent burnings and retribution from the citizens they should actually be serving. How else can so many get their multi Rmill mansions and 4x4's

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-07-28 08:14

    listening to that putrid sol cowan lie on the radio illustrate just now desperate the anc is in trying to cover up its crimes. Expect to see every single contract signed by the city to have a 'non-disclosure clause'.nothing like making up rules even if they violate the law and the constitution.

  • lulama.mbelwa - 2012-07-28 14:29

    Hayi no ANC, why so much corruption. There's nothing sensitive to hide if you haven't done wrong. This is just a plot to cover up your corrupt deeds. Yes fortunately for only you ANC. The ANC needs to be stopped and fast

  • velvybokov - 2012-07-29 11:05

    'Good morning mr ANC councillor. What's your name?'\r\n'I'm not saying. Its a secret'

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