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Makhubo Set to Secure Johannesburg's Mayorship Despite Controversies

Published September 22, 2023
9 months ago

Geoff Makhubo, the current chair of the Greater Johannesburg region for the ANC, soon could become Johannesburg's new mayor—a position he has aspired to since the local government elections in 2016.

Persistent speculation about Makhubo's legitimacy as the ideal candidate largely stems from pervious investigations made public by amaBhungane concerning his association with Regiments Capital. This firm stands notoriously implicated in state capture, adding a controversial sheen to his imminent mayoral election.

The firm Makhubo operated, Molelwane Consulting, allegedly received a substantial sum of around R30-million from Regiments Capital—a steep price for maintaining "strategic relationships" with the City of Johannesburg.

These relationships soon entered questionable territory as Makhubo ascended from ANC regional treasurer to being a key figure on the mayoral committee (MMC). Given that his company was securing a 10% cut from a contract he oversaw, allegations of conflict of interest clouded his tenure.

Public records state that Makhubo only resigned from his company in October 2019, although he had previously claimed to resign upon his appointment as MMC for finance, to prevent conflict of interest. Following his resignation, Makhubo’s mother assumed ownership roles.

Despite these behind-the-scenes dealings, Makhubo fervently denied all suggestions of corruption or dishonesty in the relationship between Molelwane and Regiments. However, investigations highlighting his links to various city contracts have led to numerous queries about his intentions and actions.

While the ANC's integrity commission has purportedly cleared Makhubo concerning the Molelwane payments, additional investigations are on the horizon. Among these, a high-profile criminal case opened by former mayor Herman Mashaba, that is presently under scrutiny by the Hawks.

Furthermore, Makhubo's connections with the ANC are rumored to be the subject of several terabytes of data comprising documents, emails, and phone records submitted to the State Capture Commission and the NPA.

As Makhubo stands one step closer to the mayoral office, he will undoubtedly face the challenge of managing this legacy. The ongoing investigations and inquiries into his actions could cast a pall over his mayoral term.

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