Home News Senior position created at Umsobomvu Municipality for ‘unqualified’ candidate

Senior position created at Umsobomvu Municipality for ‘unqualified’ candidate

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An investigation team advised that the appointment was unlawful and should be reversed by council

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A POSITION of chief operations officer (COO) was created at Umsobomvu Municipality as the person appointed into the position did not qualify for the position of chief financial officer (CFO).

The minimum requirements for the CFO position that was advertised in August 2019 included a Grade 12, a certificate in municipal finance management, a relevant Bachelor’s degree, diploma or relevant qualification on the National Qualifications Framework level 6.

An investigation team that was appointed to probe allegations of maladministration and misconduct at Umsobomvu Municipality advised that the appointment was unlawful and should be reversed by council.

“The municipality could not provide an appointment report, minutes of the interviews signed off by the panel members or the appointment letter.”

It stated that the advert was advertised without a remuneration package, while Mr D Visagie was paid an annual salary of R700,000.

He signed a five-year contract with effect from October 2019 until September 2024.

The investigation determined that the functions of the COO and CFO overlapped and held negative implications for the municipality.

“The contract of Mr Visagie, the former CFO of Umsobomvu Municipality, expired and he could not re-apply for the position since he did not have the requisite qualifications. Hence his position was created to retain him at the municipality.”

The investigation report stated that the municipal manager, Amos Mpela, alone conducted the shortlisting while he and the corporate services director, Birtus Kapp, sat on the interview panel.

“The municipal manager indicated that while Mr Visagie was the CFO he dealt with the performance management system of senior managers, audit committees and risk management. He stated that his presence at the municipality was beneficial since his workload was overwhelming and he [Mr Visagie] will relieve him from some key performance areas.”

The report pointed out that Mr Visagie reported to the municipal manager, who had stated that the post was not a section 56 appointment.

It was recommended that disciplinary action be taken against the municipal manager, corporate services director and that the irregular expenditure paid as a salary to Mr Visagie be recovered.

It was also advised that the salary of the CFO, TD Tshikundu, should be rectified and that any irregular payments made to him should be recovered.

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