The ANC has reiterated its call for Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga to resign, following a qualifications scandal involving the City’s chief of staff. It says that, if this doesn’t happen, Msimanga will risk being pushed out by a vote of no confidence.
Correspondent reported last week that former chief of staff Marietha Aucamp was appointed to the position, in which she earned an annual salary of R1.2m, even though she did not have the required qualifications.
Shortly after the news broke, Aucamp was placed on special leave and an investigation was instituted to probe her appointment and the qualifications listed on her assessment form for the position.
Aucamp then resigned at the behest of Msimanga on Thursday. The mayor said that revelations and prima facie evidence had come to the fore, leaving him with no option but to ask Aucamp to resign.
The ANC’s Tshwane caucus spokesperson, Lesego Makhubela, on Tuesday called on Msimanga and MMC Celliers Brink to resign immediately, claiming to have evidence that proves both were part of the process of hiring Aucamp.
Makhubela compared Aucamp to former SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who was found to have lied about his qualifications.
“Both of them [Brink and Msimanga] participated in the head hunting of Hlaudi Aucamp to act as chief of staff for three months before she was fully employed after the flouting of processes, which saw Msimanga breaking his oath of office in defence of white supremacy, that seeks to suggest that if you are white you don’t need qualifications to be appointed in a managerial post,” said Makhubela in a statement.
‘Incompetent defender of white privilege’
He said the ANC was at an advanced stage in preparing to launch mass action to get Msimanga to step down with immediate effect for his role in “corrupt and fraudulent activities relating to employment of his chief of staff, as well as for “running the city into the ground”.
“This massive mass action by citizens of Tshwane, lead by the ANC and its structures, will be formally accompanied by a motion of no confidence that will be passed by the ANC in council to save the City of Tshwane from collapsing in the hands of an incapable, incompetent defender of white privilege who dances to the tunes of his bosses from Cape Town.”
Msimanga previously explained to Correspondent that, while he was part of the panel that interviewed Aucamp for the position, he did not deal with her qualifications.
“We deal with the practical work that needs to be done,” said Msimanga, speaking about what the panel dealt with during the interview.
“I was never involved in the shortlisting or scrutinising of the CVs.”
He said the reason that the panel did not have to deal with the qualifications was because the HR department was in charge of gatekeeping processes through which the qualifications and experience of candidates were assessed and shortlists of candidates to be interviewed were created.
He said that part of the gatekeeping process involved an external company which did an assessment and vetted the candidates.
‘If you don’t pass budget, you don’t have government’
He added that he would not allow the investigation into Aucamp’s qualifications to fizzle out.
“I want to get to the bottom of what happened with HR processes, right from the beginning, so that will also need to be clarified. I want to know what happened, who was responsible and where did it slip, so we can then remedy that.”
Msimanga has also asked for a full audit on qualifications held by managers in his office.
He said the audit would include people hired during his time as mayor and those hired before the DA-led administration took over Tshwane.
Makhubela responded by saying the skills audit was nothing but a smoke screen aimed at making people forget and not follow up on the investigation into Aucamp.
Before the ANC released its statement on Tuesday, Msimanga said the ANC was preparing to bring a motion of no confidence against him, and that this was a ploy to try and destabilise government.
“We are going towards a budget cycle. If you don’t pass budget, you don’t have government, and this is designed that we never get to this stage,” said Msimanga.
Meanwhile, Makhubela said the fraud and corruption case opened by the ANC had made “great progress” and that there was no doubt that Aucamp would face the full might of the law and that every cent she received from the City would be recovered.