The City of Johannesburg claims a Gauteng government employee who allegedly stole files from the City’s offices relating to the controversial Alexandra Renewal Project has since returned them.

The City says the provincial Human Settlements Department employee returned the three files of documents and meeting attendance registers he had allegedly removed.

The files had been stored in a locked office. A criminal case against the suspect is expected to be opened against the man soon.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has ordered an investigation into the project which he claims was used as a slush fund by the African National Congress (ANC), the then ANC-run City of Johannesburg and the Gauteng government.

The party has denied the claims.

Mashaba says the investigation will determine if the stolen files had been tampered with.

“This matter is of very grave concern to me and I guess it should really be of grave concern to people of Alexandra and the City of Johannesburg in general. And obviously of concern to us is that have those files been tampered with or not and that is something that really needs to be investigated and it is for that reason I have requested General Sibiya’s office to lay criminal charges against this official. And I have also written to the Premier yesterday to inform him of this and ask for his response in this regard.”