Home News ’Nepotism’ appointments at Umsobomvu Municipality found to be irregular

’Nepotism’ appointments at Umsobomvu Municipality found to be irregular

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The appointment of the son of the Umsobomvu municipal manager and the wife of the mayor has been found to be irregular.

THE APPOINTMENT of the son of the Umsobomvu municipal manager and the wife of the mayor has been found to be irregular.

The wife of the mayor was awarded an increase, a month after she was appointed.

A probe into nepotism by an investigating team consisting of officials from the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, the South African Local Government Association and Northern Cape provincial treasury found that the appointments were unlawful.

The report found that the wife of the mayor, KM Toto was unlawfully appointed as a housing clerk where she received an annual salary of R127 022 – R142 842.

Toto was absorbed by Umsobomvu Municipality on August 1 2011 on a contractual basis as she was previously employed by the Pixley ka Seme District Municipality as a career guidance advisor in Noupoort from September 2008 until July 2011.

It was noted that the other candidate was in possession of a Bacherlor of Commerce degree in Business Management and economics while Toto’s highest qualification was Grade 12.

She was interviewed by the municipal manager Amos Mpela, the director of corporate services Birtus Kapp and representatives from Samwu and Imatu and she was appointed as a housing clerk in Noupoort on November 2 2016.

Less than a month after she was appointed Kapp wrote to the chief clerk expenditure and instructed that Toto’s salary be adjusted to post level 7 as it would be “beneficial for her”.

He motivated that the package of the career guidance advisor was almost equivalent to a post level 7 on the first notch of R 166 550 while she was earning R158 506, 08.

“The municipality could not produce a letter from Toto, requesting for a salary adjustment or correction. The municipal manager said that it was the norm in the municipality for candidates to accept a lower salary and later request for a salary adjustment. The municipality did not provide documentary evidence and or written report to illustrate the recruitment process until the appointment of the applicant.”

The report pointed out that Mpela and Kapp as panel members knew that Toto was dishonest by submitting a letter that stated that she was only acting in the position.

“The appointment of Mrs Toto was unlawful and irregular due to the conflict of interest of the municipal manager being on the recommending panel and the appointing authority. There is evidence that Mrs Toto was favoured purely because she is the wife of the mayor.”

The recommendations include instituting disciplinary action against the municipal manager and the director of corporate services and that they be held accountable for the irregular expenditure incurred from the date of Toto’s appointment.

It was also advised that disciplinary action should be taken against Toto for misrepresentation.

The son of the municipal manager Andile Mpela was appointed as an artisan mechanic at the municipality.

The post was vacant since 1994 and the advert to fill the vacancy was posted on October 11 2019 with a remuneration package of between R313 740 – R407 244.

The closing date for applications was November 1 2019 where the candidate was required to have Grade 12, be a trade tested artisan, be in possession of a code EC driver’s licence, have relevant experience in diesel and petrol driven motors and be able to communicate in tow or more official languages.

The investigation report stated that Mpela was the only candidate who failed to submit proof of his Grade 12 or 11 certificate and or statement of results although he did attach a trade test certificate to his curriculum vitae.

Mpela was one of three candidates shortlisted for the position.

The municipal manager and the director of corporate services shortlisted Mpela as one of the three candidates. The candidates were contacted telephonically for an interview although no written confirmation of the interview was sent to the candidates.

“It was established that Andile Mpela is the son of the municipal manager Amos Mpela and also the step son of the corporate services director, Kapp. The municipal manager and the director of corporate services constituted themselves as the shortlisting panel for the benefit of their son. They were conflicted in the process by shortlisting their son and this constitutes maladministration.

“The interview panel was established after Mpela was included on the shortlist.”

The report indicated that the Mpela did not qualify for the appointment and was unlawful as recruitment policies were not followed.

It was recommended that disciplinary action be taken against the municipal manager, the corporate services manager and that they should be held accountable for the irregular expenditure that was incurred from the date of the appointment.

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