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Mpumalanga Cogta MEC wants “unqualified” municipal manager out

Mpumalanga’s Cogta MEC has ordered the Victor Khanye Local municipality to remove an acting municipal manager who does not meet the requirements for the position.

In a scathing letter to executive mayor Eva Makhabane, Cogta MEC, Speed Mashilo, declined to give concurrence for the appointment of Vusi Magaza as acting municipal manager.

According to Mashilo’s letter, Magaza does not comply with the required criteria for the position of municipal manager.

“A person appointed (as municipal manager or acting municipal manager)must at least have the skills, expertise, competencies and qualifications as prescribed,” said Mashilo.

Section 54 (A) (3) (a) of the Municipal Systems Act of 2000 states that the appointment of a municipal manager or acting municipal manager is null and void if they don’t meet the requirements.

Mashilo states that the preferred candidate’s qualification is police science.

“According to the records at our disposal the appointed Acting Municipal Manager’s highest qualification is a Bachelor of Art (Police Science). The minimum qualifications required for the (municipal manager’s) post are Bachelor Degree in Public Administration, Political Science, Law or equivalent.

Magaza is the current acting municipal manager, but Mashilo wants him gone and he to give concurrence for the extension of the former’s tenure.

“The Acting municipal manager does not meet the minimum qualification for the post,” says Mashilo in his letter to Makhabane.

“There is no provision in the Act that enables my office to grant an extension that exceeds six (6) months,” said Mashilo

However, when Makhabane sought Mashilo’s concurrence, the latter declined and instead directed the municipality to consider appointing a candidate who complied with the required criteria.

“Council must consider appointing the second candidate who was recommended in the previous recruitment process,” said Mashilo.

During an interview with Ziwaphi – The New Era, EFF provincial leader, Collen Sedibe alleged that the municipality defied Mashilo and continued with Magaza’s appointment. He said that this was part of the ANC’s cadre deployment strategy.

“We are worried about the corruption that is happening in the municipalities, particularly with the accounting officers, they are incompetent based on the deployment policies of the ANC which don’t take into account the requirement of the position,” said Sedibe.

Departmental spokesperson, George Mthethwa, however, rejected the claim that the municipality has appointed Magaza.

“Interviews are yet to be conducted for the MM’s position since it was advertised as part of the recruitment process. Only then that a request for concurrence will be sent to the MEC unless otherwise stated,” said Mthethwa last Saturday.

This, however is contrary to a letter that Ziwaphi – The New Era has seen, dated 22 January 2019 that Mashilo signed and addressed to Makhabane, wherein he directs the Executive Mayor to appoint a “second candidate”.

The subject of the letter states that its for the “Request for concurrence on the appointment of the Acting Municipal Manager: Victor Khanye Local Municipality”.

“Your municipal council is hereby advised to rescind the decision to appoint the current Acting Municipal Manager since he does not meet the minimum requirement for the post and the post has been vacant for a period beyond the acceptable norm of six (6) months.

“Council must consider appointing the second candidate who was recommended in the previous recruitment processes,” said Mashilo in the letter.

Sources within the municipality told Ziwaphi – The New Era that there have been tensions between the executive mayor and the council’s Speaker about appointments.

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