NATIONAL NEWS - The Democratic Alliance (DA) Johannesburg Caucus has accused the ruling ANC of flouting council rules to make irregular appointments.
Earlier this year, the city faced a litany of accusations of irregular appointments from within the ANC’s own ranks as well as the DA.
After the disgraced Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Group Corporate and Shared Service (GCSS), Loyiso Masuku, was put on special leave after she faced allegations of corruption.
This prompted whistleblowers to accuse Masuku of nepotism. The DA caucus lamented the political leadership vacuum created by this and argued that the current acting MMC, councillor Mally Mokoena, had demonstrated no interest in managing this critical portfolio properly and furthering a supposed leadership crisis in the city.
On Wednesday the DA announced it was in possession of an appointment letter for an acting arrangement for the Group Head of Citizen Management and Urban Management (CRUM) dated 5 October 2020. The current Group Head of CRUM was in the acting position of secretary to council, a position to which she was appointed in February.
At the scheduled council meeting on 7 and 8 October this arrangement was on the agenda for yet another extension, said DA GCSS shadow minister Dalu Cele. But cele said the ANC was attempting to pre-empt proper council processes in the City of Johannesburg by having the city manager sign a letter of appointment before the council meeting where the appointment is to be debated.
According to an ANC caucus insider, the DA had no grounds to complain about this practice of expedient acting appointments, arguing that the opposition party did the same thing during its reign on the city, which was why most of its complaints about the ANC doing the same went largely unheard.
On the “pre-empting” appointment letter, he argued that council leadership would have done it because they knew that the motion would be carried over. He said the acting appointments were of people who were qualified and experienced and this practice was to ensure there wasn’t a management crisis in the city.
In terms of council delegations, acting appointments should not be for longer than three months without council approval, explained Cele. “But at every council meeting this year when the matter of a permanent appointment or a further acting appointment arose, the ANC withdrew the matter. While unavoidable at times, acting arrangements created uncertainty and can paralyse departments,” he said.
The DA was calling on Mokoena to explain to council why this “irregular” appointment had been made.