Controversy mars recent SDM appointments

GROBLERSDAL – The recent appointments of two officials to the finance division of the Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM) has generated controversy as the opposition in the district municipality council, the Democratic Alliance (DA), questioned their regularity.

The DA in Sekhukhune says it seeks the institution of an investigation and the suspension of the Acting Director of Corporate Services, Langa Kabini and Acting Chief Financial Officer, Colbert Mufamadi, following the appointment processes of the two officials, whose names are known to the paper.

The opposition party alleges that the appointment of the two officials, who served in the same finance division before, came without the positions having been advertised and interviews not conducted. The DA further alleges that the two officials have no qualifications for the vacancies.

The party claims that the two were hired based on their close links to the Acting Director of Corporate Services at the district municipality who was once a Municipal Manager (MM) at Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality and dismissed in 2010 after he “unilaterally increased his salary and those of other senior officials without the local municipality council’s approval”.

Solomon Maila, DA Caucus leader in SDM, said as the party they called for a full investigation into the irregular appointments of the two officials by the acting corporate services director and the role of the acting CFO in the matter.

Maila said the DA in Sekhukhune also called for the immediate suspension of both the acting corporate services director and the acting chief financial officer pending the finalization of internal investigations.

“Such a step will not only intend to safeguard the investigation and shield it from any possible interference by Kabini and Mufamadi, it will also be to ensure that the municipality is seen to be consistent, given that the process of suspending officials responsible for irregular appointments of borehole contractor has already commenced,” said Maila.

Maila further said the party would be striving for transparency in employment opportunities within the institution.

 “Our fundamental activity is to play oversight role so that there has to be equal opportunities for everyone, for competitive employment to all,” added Maila.

 He said the party would ensure that the matter would be forwarded to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (Mpac) to provide a detailed report to the council on the matter.

Moloko Moloto, SDM Communications Manager, said they were aware of the allegations made by the DA.

Moloto said that however, it ought to be pointed out that the two officials started working with the municipality, one since 2013 and the other in 2015.

“They have been with the municipality for that long and were doing the type of job they were appointed to do now, on permanent basis, which is general work. The municipality decided to absorb them. The pair was not appointed based on the influence by the Acting Director of Corporate Services Langa Kabini. The decision was taken by the User Department which made a recommendation to the human resources manager who also elevated that recommendation to the Acting Director of Corporate Services, indicating that they need services of the two contracted employees, who were working on yearly renewed contracts,” he said.

He said the municipality deemed it unfair to terminate the two officials’ contracts as it would have been unfair labour practice. 

“We must point out that it is not for the first time that officials working on contracts are absorbed in the municipality. In 2018, we absorbed 98 workers who were working on contracts permanently and they remained in their positions after they were permanently employed,” concluded Moloto.

Thapelo Motseo

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