City of Cape Town using taxpayers money to hire external lawyers for internal disciplinary matters

 As SAMWU Cape Metro we are very concerned with the new trend taken by the City of Cape Town administration. There are currently four (4) internal disciplinary hearings running within the Municipality wherein the administration elected to open the taxpayers kit and take money out to hire top notch external lawyers for internal disciplinary hearings.

 As the union, we have raised our concerns with this outsourcing of corrective measures in a form internal disciplinary hearing, we have sent several communications to the City, referred disputes, awarded interim rulings by SALGBC and did everything with no change. As the union we have written to the City Manager who according to his response endorsed the spending of money to hire the lawyers disregarding the SALGBC ruling. After looking at some of the charges as the union, we somehow have assumptions as to why the City Manager supports the hiring of lawyers as his name features in some of the charges.

Upon looking at the charges, as the union we have written to the mayor seeking some moral campus/clarity as in our view the City Manager as the head of the administration is likely to be biased in his decision of hiring of the lawyers. In our communication to mayor we highlighted the fact that this money is taken away and given to the lawyers while the economy is suffering due to Covid19 pandemic, while there are people in the metropolitan area who are going to bed hungry due to Covid19, while there are money needs for housing for the people of the various parts of the metropolitan.

As the union we waited for Mayors response to no success. At this stage with no response to the mayor, it seems as if the mayor as the political head endorses the administration getting its hands in the taxpayers kit to pay out the external lawyers as after our communication to him there is still no change as the lawyers continue to act obo the City on internal disciplinary hearings which in our view is not necessary and could give birth to corruption.

In the absence of the political head’s response to us, as the union we decided to write to the parties political head in the metropolitan area, the DA metropolitan chairperson. We wrote to the chairperson understanding that he has been democratically elected and entrusted by the party structures on behalf of the metropolitan area to spearhead its agenda for the people in the metropolitan area. We understand the agenda to be inclusive of issues affecting the people in the metropolitan and efficient use of monies especially taxpayers monies.

The party got 2/3 majority in the metropolitan in 2016 local government elections and as we approach the next local government elections in 2021 we believe that any party would want to remain committed in its agenda and if we misunderstand the agenda as the union and the metropolitan public in general then we must be clarified by the Metropolitan DA chairperson as the mayor hasn’t responded.

The parties metropolitan chairperson has indicated that he will get back to us and we are waiting for his response before we confirm our assumptions/suspicions as the union.

We hope the response of the parties metropolitan chairperson will be in line with our union principle understanding in terms of taxpayers monies, as guided by our own constitution when it comes to community issues, which will stop and redirect the taxpayers monies to the needs of the people in the metropolitan area not for the use of lawyers especially with things so bad economically in the metropolitan as a result of the pandemic and with ordinary people going to bed on an empty stomach.

For more information Contact:

Mikel Kumalo

SAMWU: Cape Metro Regional Secretary  083 265 1516