The City of Tshwane has paid the legal fees for municipal manager Moeketsi Mosola who sought an interdict, in his personal capacity, against the release of a report showing irregularities in the awarding of the GladAfrica tender.

News24 says the payment was confirmed in writing in internal municipal communication. The case is central to the fight over whether Mosola should keep his job. His detractors have tried to have him suspended because of his role in signing off the GladAfrica project management tender, which was found by the AG to be irregular.

Law firm Bowmans was appointed to probe the GladAfrica tender last year, and found there were irregularities in the procurement process. But before that report could be tabled in the council, Mosola obtained an interdict in the Labour Court stopping its release, in October 2018.

At issue was whether former Mayor Solly Msimanga, the City and the Speaker of the Council had taken the correct technical and procedural steps in their efforts to have Mosola suspended over his role in approving the GladAfrica tender.

News24 says a legal adviser in Msimanga's office questioned whether it was proper for the municipality to pay Mosola's legal fees last year, and again in February this year. Mosola has been using the services of private Johannesburg-based law firm, Leslie Cohen & Associates.

The correspondence shows that the adviser wrote to Marna Kock, Tshwane's Group Head for Legal Services, and Lorette Tredoux, Governance and Support Officer, in October 2018, asking whether Mosola was receiving legal assistance from the municipality. Kock responded saying that, as Chief Legal Counsel at the municipality, she had decided to grant Mosola legal assistance in terms of section 109a of the Municipal Systems Act.

But the adviser disagreed with Kock, and said the legal assistance to Mosola fell outside the scope of that section, and was 'irregular and unlawful'.

'No legal proceedings have been instituted against (Mosola) nor has he been summoned to attend any inquests or inquiry. In fact, (Mosola) is acting in his personal capacity for private purposes against the city, all expenses paid in this regard will constitute irregular expenditure,' the adviser warned.

Full News24 report