DA welcomes court decision on illegal appointment of Maluti-a-Phofung senior staff

05 May 2022 in Press Statements

The Free State High Court has found that two senior staff members, a Municipal Manager and the Chief Financial Officer at the Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality, have been irregularly appointed.

The appointments took place on the 26th of March 2020 at a time the municipality was under administration. The court clearly stated that this was an act of anarchy. The inflated salary that the staff members were awarded was found to be unlawful and irregular and set aside. The court also ordered that the excessive income that they each received – roughly R1 million each – must be repaid within 90 days.

The court found that the council did not have the authority to make these decisions. The court also agreed with the administrators, that the people employed did not have the required competency and experience to be paid a maximum salary. Administration was only lifted in June 2020.

The DA was relentless in our efforts to keep MaP to account and we welcome the judgment. We wrote to the Speaker and pointed out that the actions were illegal. The issue was raised on many occasions in the Legislature and at a Provincial Public Accounts Committee meeting in MaP. Our efforts paid off and we are vindicated.

The court order seems to allow that the council can negotiate a new contract with the Municipal Manager and Chief Financial Officer if they so wish.

Mayor Gilbert Mokotso, Speaker Paratlane Motloung and Chief Whip Moeketsi Lebesa of the current coalition are in discussions with MEC of COGTA, Mxolisi Dukwana and his legal team to come up with recommendations to bring to council.

The DA will make every effort to ensure that the money will be paid back to the severely cash-strapped municipality as per the court order. The position of Municipal Manager and Chief Executive Officer must also be advertised and the pool of suitable applicants be thoroughly evaluated.