Makana has pulled down the shutters on intense battles raging inside the Council and in municipal offices. The only public item in yesterday’s special council meeting was the appointment of a Disciplinary Board. The structure is a statutory one in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act.
The item is relevant because according to the Act it is this body which is required to deal with allegations of financial misconduct.
Such allegations were made against Infrastructure Director Dali Mlenzana. Five allegations of misconduct are contained in a document seen by Grocott’s Mail. Four relate to alleged supply chain irregularities and the fifth concerns an alleged unauthorised salary increase for a senior Makana official.
Acting Municipal Manager Ted Pillay this week remained tight-lipped on the disciplinary process, other than to say it remained confidential and would be discussed in a closed Council session during next week’s full council meeting.
Mlenzana likewise declined to comment, other than to say he had done what was required. The Act determined that he had seven days to respond to Council, indicating why he should not be suspended on the basis of the allegations.
Meanwhile, a confidential source says there is strong concern across the political spectrum about a candidate approved in a confidential Council session yesterday for the position of Municipal Manager. The municipality’s leadership has attributed many of its problems to the absence of a permanent chief accounting officer, who should provide leadership and stability.
However, the source says, experienced councillors from both the ANC and DA caucuses expressed shock that of three candidates, the one who scored the lowest on a competency matrix was the one selected.
The candidate scored “basic” on people management, financial management, change management, governance leadership, analysis and innovation, knowledge and information management and results and quality focus. They scored “competent” on strategic direction and leadership, program and project management, moral competence, planning and organising and communication.
A second candidate score “competent” on all except change management which was “basic”.
The third candidate scored “advanced” on several competencies, and “competent” on the rest.
The source estimated that psychometric testing for an individual costs around R20 000. “Why spend that money if the results are going to be ignored?”
With media queries referred to Pillay, Grocott’s Mail asked him for confirmation that Council had approved a candidate for the position of municipal manager in yesterday’s special council meeting. Pillay said there would be a public announcement about the appointment once all the appointment processes had been completed.
“A candidate approved by Council must go to the MEC [for Co-operative Governance, Fikile Xasa]for concurrence. He has 14 days to respond,” Pillay said.
“Makana has every intention of appointing a municipal manager quickly.”
ANC Chief Whip Mabhuti Matyumza had not yet responded to a request for comment on the process at the time of going to press.
DA caucus leader Mlindi Nhanha declined to comment on the basis the matter remained under a confidential item.
“However, as the DA we are studying very closely the process and outcome and will seek legal advice,” Nhanha said.
Grocott’s Mail has been informed that agendas for council meetings, including open Council meetings, will no longer be made available to non-councillors until the items have been discussed in Council. This was confirmed by staff who are under instruction not to issue agendas to members of the public or the media.