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Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has referred himself to the council’s ethics committee following allegations that he used his wife’s company to do business with the city.

Below is the full statement issued by Mashaba on Wednesday:

Following the allegations that featured against me in various media outlets on Monday 19 February 2018‚ I have taken the extraordinary measure of referring the matter to the Council of Johannesburg’s Ethics Committee.

Whilst I believe I have responded to the matter sufficiently‚ I have committed to run the City of Johannesburg whilst holding myself to the highest ethical standards. It is time that citizens believe in their political leadership‚ and this can only happen when we set the bar higher.

I have written to the Speaker of Council‚ Cllr Vasco Da Gama‚ requesting that the allegations contained in the Sowetan newspaper are investigated. I have attached a copy of this letter in the public interest.

I have declared my financial interests and those of my family. In the process of trying to bring dignity to our security personnel‚ through insourcing‚ I reached out to a security sector expert with the skills we needed to advise us. I did so with the full knowledge of the Mayoral Committee and coalition partners.

There was no conflict of interest‚ it was not an unsolicited bid and no advantage or benefit was derived. It was a dedicated South African willing to give of their time‚ free of charge‚ to the benefit of our City.

The simple truth was that this move to insource security guards in the City caused a lot of unhappiness in the circles of the politically connected few who have made a fortune from the over 90 security contracts that the City has held valued at R640 million.

My approach to this matter‚ and any other that follows‚ is that I will subject myself to any investigation that is required to protect the image of our City.

In light of public interest in this matter‚ I have also informed the Speaker of my decision to waive my rights to this matter being treated confidentially and I would welcome the process being conducted openly.

Unlike what we have seen across our country‚ political leaders with nothing to hide must step forward and be fully accountable to their residents.

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