6th Acting MM

MOKOPANE – This followed after the Polokwane High Court set aside the appointment of Acting Municipality Manager, Sam Bambo, who was appointed in November last year.

The DA said in a statement they will urgently request that the Mogalakwena Municipality council reverse the appointment of yet another Acting Municipal Manager, Merriam Molala, and take the necessary steps to make a permanent appointment, in line with legislation. Since December 2014, the municipality has appointed six acting municipal managers, all without following the correct procedures.

The inconsistent running of the municipality has derailed effective service delivery for the past three years.

These six acting municipal managers have been in an acting capacity for longer than 6 months which contravenes Section 54 of the Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000. According to the Act, the municipal manager may not be appointed or act for a period that exceeds three months unless in special circumstances and that the municipal council apply in writing to the MEC for Local Government to extend the period of the appointment for a further three months.

It further states that if the post becomes vacant, the council must advertise the post nationally to attract a competent pool of candidates. Instead all six were appointed without council approval.

After the controversial suspension of Willy Kekana in 2014, Puledi Selepe was appointed in the acting capacity from December 2014 to June 2015. Peter Makondo took over from June 2015 to December 2015 while Marcus Mthombeni was appointed from January to June 2016.

Sam Bambo also joined the fray from November 2016 to January 2017 and the former Capricorn District Municipality (CDM) Municipal Manager, Merriam Molala, was appointed during the council meeting yesterday. Korny Dekker, DA Ward Coucillor, said in the statement the latest appointment of Merriam Molala does not instill any confidence.

“During her tenure at CDM, Molala was implicated in the Gobodo Forensic and Investigative report that highlighted Supply Chain Management (SCM) and procurement irregularities with regards to the appointment of service providers. It further found that Molala should not have approved the appointment of Mayibuye to deliver water, as they appear to not have submitted the documents to justify either deviation or the service provided. The DA is deeply concerned that Molala still has a dark cloud hanging over her head and is not an appropriate appointment.”

The DA believes that the delay in the permanent appointment of a municipal manager is exclusively due to factionalism and infighting within the ANC and can no longer be tolerated at the expense of the people, especially the poor. “We urge the Municipal Council to do the right thing and reverse her appointment as soon as possible so that we can again focus on service delivery and creating jobs.”

The Mogalakwena Residents Associaton welcome the judgement of the High Court which set aside the appointment of Bambo.

The MRA said the application was brought by a resident of Mogalakwena and youth leader in Waterberg, Duncan Kekana.

“We have been saying that the appointment of Bambo was illegal and his intention was to speed up the awarding of R228 million tenders and transfer R100 million to an unknown account.

“We believe the ANC could have intervened early since the matter was already in public discourse. We are of the opinion that the current Mayor and girlfriend of Bambo, Andrina Matsemela, must be fired with immediate effect together with her Exco for failing to protect public funds.”

Bosveld approached Malasela Seloleka, Spokesperson of the Mogalakwena Municipality about the matter. He said some of the processes were not followed regarding the appointment of Sam Bambo, but the Council was willing to correct that.

Decisions about the tenders and money mentioned were not yet communicated from Bambo’s side. No further comment about the matter was received.

Phuti Seloba, Limpopo Government Spokesperson, explained to Bosveld what happened in court. According to him the applicant and the municipality entered into an out of court settlement.

The settlement was then made an order of the court and a new acting municipal manager was appointed. He said if the other political parties are not happy with the appointment of the new municipal manager they can go to court.

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Charmaine Lourens

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