Actions are being recommended against the mayor.
A candidate connected to Secunda mayor Thandi Ngxonono was employed as supervisor at the Govan Mbeki local municipality, despite an advert demanding that such a person be in possession of a matric certificate as a minimum requirement.
The man was employed in March 2019 to head up the municipality’s water & sanitation department as a supervisor, after a political instruction was issued to officials to give him the job.
This information is contained in an investigation report released by co-operative governance MEC Mandla Msibi a few weeks ago.
The report notes that the employment processes at the municipality are flouted because the people who are employed to do the administrative process of recruitment and appointment get instructions from politicians on who to employ.
The appointed supervisor is identified as a ‘Mr NC Ndimande’ in Msibi’s report and his employment began in March 2019.
Ndimande on the day of his appointment on 6 March was told by senior officials at the municipality to make sure he gets his matric certificate as the issue was causing noise amongst disgruntled groupings in the municipality who possessed the required qualifications for the job but were overlooked.
Issues of who you employ at the municipalities are important to politicians who are ambitious for power, especially the Gert Sibande ANC region where chairman Muzi Chirwa is on the final offensive to consolidate his power base by inserting allies into government positions ahead of the party’s 13th provincial congress, where Chirwa eyes the post of secretary.
Msibi late last year ordered investigations into Govan Mbeki, Pixley ka Seme and JS Moroka local municipalities.
All reports are now out and paint a very bleak picture of these municipalities – ranging from bad governance, nepotism and abuse of power to fraud and corruption.
The Govan Mbeki report says in November 2018 the water & sanitation department advertised 4 supervisor posts, looking for people who had a matric certificate and plumber qualification.
28 people applied, and 8 were shortlisted for the interview from which 4 were employed.
Of the 4 employed, only 1 met the minimum requirements for the job and the 3, which included Ndimande, didn’t have matric certificates.
The Ndimande issue is one of many such issues of nepotism uncovered by investigators at the municipality, including officials hiring people who got low interview scores against those who got higher scores.
The report says “Mr Ndimande’s appointment was made as a result of political influence arising from his relations to mayor Ngxonono and [former MMC] Ethel Nkosi”.
It says the other people who applied were not hired because they knew nobody at the municipality.
Nkosi and Ngxonono are REC members in the Gert Sibande ANC region and they are Chirwa’s allies in the Govan Mbeki sub-district.
Few weeks ago Nkosi was deployed to Parliament’s council of provinces despite not being on the list, against a comrade who was on the list but who doesn’t support Chirwa.
Msibi’s report notes that it is surprising that amongst the 3 employed candidates who didn’t have matric certificates, Ndimande was the only employee who was given the opportunity to acquire the required qualification.
He was given until February 2021 to study towards his matric, while on the supervisor job.
“When questioned why Ndimande received preferential treatment as opposed to other employees, it was at this moment that Mr I van Rooyen informed us that he was specifically instructed by his manager Mr SS Ndlovu to insert a special provision in the offer of employment of Mr Ndimande.
“Mr SS Ndlovu also provided us with the same answer, but in his case he said he was instructed by his senior officials,” the report reads.
The investigators have recommended that the municipal recruitment process be reviewed to ensure the processes are not breached again and that actions be taken against Ngxonono and Nkosi.
“In respect of the allegations of political interference against the executive mayor and councillor NE Nkosi the Code of Conduct of Councillors must be invoked and appropriate actions must be taken by the council,” it says.
(edited by ZK)