The City of Joburg said on Monday that it had uncovered massive corruption, theft and fraud involving more that R7.5 million stolen from Johannesburg Market, a major centre for the marketing of fresh produce.

This comes after head of the City’s anti-corruption unit, General Shadrack Sibiya, gave his report on theft from the Johannesburg Market to the City’s Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba.

The theft allegedly involves as much as R7 535 686.43.

Mayor Mashaba said the report details allegations of how three officials at the market, and a similar number of suppliers, defrauded the City by misrepresenting the amount of various goods received via the market’s procurement processes.

The mayor said officials also fraudulently misrepresented the completeness of services rendered by some suppliers, causing substantial financial loss to the market.

“One such case of misrepresentation cost residents of R1 863 876.63. In another instance, the market overpaid R5 067 523.80 to a supplier with whom employees of the market had business interests,” Mashaba said.

“The City has opened a case of fraud, theft and corruption against all implicated officials and suppliers with the Hawks.”

Mashaba said the arrest of those implicated was imminent and officials named in the report would also face the City’s internal disciplinary proceedings. The three implicated officials have been suspended pending the outcome of all investigations.

Mashaba said despite commendable work done by most of the City’s employees, acts of corruption by a few diminished “all our combined efforts” to deliver services that residents deserve.

“I implore our honest and dedicated City employees to come together to help us root out corruption so we can show our residents that Johannesburg possesses a truly competent and professional civil service,” Mashaba said.

“I am serious about ensuring this administration delivers the kind of clean governance the residents of Johannesburg have demanded. Our recent adjustment budget and efforts of General Sibiya’s office reflects this.”

Taking a dig at the ousted African National Congress regime that previously led the City, Mashaba who is a Democratic Alliance member, said: “The days of past administrations turning a blind eye to your blatant looting are over”.

“We will expose you and you will face the full might of the law.”