The union has expressed concern over alleged corruption and the lack of PPE among other things. 

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) has called for more Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) officials to be investigated amid allegations of fake qualifications against CEO Tshepo Mahanuke.

Samwu members held demonstrations outside the agency’s head offices in Johannesburg on Friday.

This comes after Mahanuke was placed on “special leave” with immediate effect this week, pending the outcome of the re-authentication process into his credentials.

The process is expected to be finalised at the end of this month.

An unnamed interim CEO has been appointed in the meantime, according to the JRA.

‘They are stalling progress’

Samwu has since expressed concern over Mahanuke’s “precautionary suspension”, alleged corruption and the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) among other things. 

The union’s regional secretary Thobani Nkosi on Friday called for more JRA officials to be investigated for their role in Mahanuke’s appointment, Jacaranda News reported.

“It should not be only him. We are saying those who processed his application for the job and signed off his appointment letter must equally face the music,” he said.

According to the union, Mahanuke has been temporarily replaced with an JRA official who was involved in a R400 million tender graft.

WATCH: JRA condemns destruction and theft of traffic lights infrastructure

Samwu alleges that JRA’s CFO Dikeledi Thindisa and head of corporate services Siyabonga Nodu have been implicated in the corruption saga and have called for the pair to be fired.

“They should be removed and allow JRA to operate properly. We are calling for their heads because they are involved in a number of reports where there’s corruption [and] wasteful expenditure within JRA. They are stalling progress in this company… today we are here workers don’t even have PPE and material which we call asphalt. That’s why you see a lot of potholes,” Nkosi told eNCA.

In addition, the union, which has demanded to meet with MMC for transport Funzela Ngobeni, also wants the JRA board to be dissolved because “they are incompetent” and “their characters are questionable”.

JRA corruption / Tshepo Mahanuke
South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) members picket outside Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA) head offices on 18 November 2022. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Mahanuke qualifications

Questions around Mahanuke’s credentials came in the spotlight this week after media reports revealed that he claimed to have a Harvard master’s degree that doesn’t exist.

The JRA CEO’s honorary doctorate from the Trinity International University of Ambassadors could be bought for a small “support honorarium” and that his master’s degree in competitive intelligence from ACI College is not actually offered at Harvard Business School.

His CV reportedly states that he received an “undergraduate engineering degree from the Vaal University of Technology (VUT)”, but he holds a diploma after completing an engineering technician course.

Mahanuke has, however, argued that these allegations were false.

Ngobeni also put out a statement on the matter, saying Mahanuke “was ultimately deemed to be the successful candidate” for the CEO position.

The Transport MMC said it was not true that Mahanuke had embellished his CV.

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