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Ex-JHB Mayor Mashaba distances himself from R500m illegal fire engine contract

The High Court in Johannesburg has found the City of Joburg's 'red fleet' tender valued at over R500 million unlawful and constitutionally invalid.

FILE: Former Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has on Wednesday distanced himself from an illegal multimillion-rand fire engine contract, saying his administration was trying to solve a life-threatening problem caused by the African National Congress (ANC).

The High Court in Johannesburg has found the City of Joburg's 'red fleet' tender valued at over R500 million unlawful and constitutionally invalid.

In 2019, the city procured 92 specialised fire and rescue engines from TFM Industries through a deviation process.

The fire trucks, which were paid for in advance, were never delivered, putting the lives of Joburg residents at risk.

It's been a blaming game between Mashaba and current Mayor Geoff Makhubo on who should take responsibility for the irregular procurement of the fire trucks.

Mashaba said while the contract was signed under his administration, he wasn’t involved in the procurement process.

“If ever payment was effected in advance, which is against the law, then action must be taken against those responsible.”

While the City of Johannesburg's Mlimandlela Ndamase said due to mismanagement under the previous administration, the people of Johannesburg had been put at risk.

“As it stands, we have a serious crisis as we should be having at least 35 fire engines.”

The court has ordered that the fire trucks paid for by the city be delivered within 60 days.

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