JOHANNESBURG – Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found that the appointment of senior executives in the office of the former Mayor of Tshwane Solly Msimanga was irregular.
Mkhwebane said the appointment of former mayoral spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi, executive head in the office of the mayor Stefan de Villiers and acting mayoral spokesperson Matthew Gerstner was irregular as they did not meet the minimum job requirements.
The City of Tshwane was also found to have failed in conducting security vetting before their appointment.
Mkhwebane has found that Msimanga deliberately and willfully misled the public regarding the constitution and subsequent reconstitution of the mayoral committee.
The report also found Msimanga misled the public by saying his predecessor, Kgosi Maepa, had taken a decision to buy a new fleet of BMWs for committee members.
Msimanga resigned in 2018 amid allegations of his involvement in the GladAfrica scandal to take up a position as the Democratic Alliance’s Gauteng premier candidate.
Mkhwebane has recommended that the City of Tshwane must, within 60 working days, take disciplinary steps against implicated officials who violated the staffing policy.
‘I AM NOT INCOMPETENT’
Mkhwebane also took the time to reiterate that the decision by the High Court in Pretoria to declare her report into the Vrede project unconstitutional and invalid did not warrant her removal from office and she would be appealing it.
After the court ruled to set aside the Public Protector’s report on the Estina dairy project in Vrede, Free State, the Democratic Alliance reinstated its calls for Mkhwebane to be removed from office.
“A finding by a court that I am wrong in law in relation to an investigation I conducted doesn’t warrant removal from office. It does not even amount to incompetence,” she said.
Mkhwebane’s initial report made no findings against Ace Magashule and Mosebenzi Zwane who were Free State premier and agriculture MEC, respectively, at the time.
She said she would be challenging the decision of the High Court in the Supreme Court of Appeal.