SAMWU disappointed by decision to challenge the High Court ruling setting aside the appointment of the Municipal Manager

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in Limpopo province has learnt with great pain and disappointment the decision taken by the Mokgalakwena Local Municipality to challenge the ruling of the Limpopo High Court setting aside the appointment of the municipality’s Municipal Manager.

The High court set aside the appointment of the Municipal Manger following his appointment by a selection panel that was declared unlawful and improperly constituted and its recommendations approved by an irregular meeting which meeting was convened by the speaker on the 08 August and summarily postponed by the same speaker on the same day.

The postponed meeting took a decision to disregard the postponement by the speaker and reconvene itself into a new meeting and then decided to appoint an acting speaker who facilitated a meeting to appoint a Municipal Manager despite the fierce protestations by the Acting Municipal Manager Mr Ngoepe who advised that the meeting was manifestly illegal in that a new meeting cannot reconvene itself without a notice of a new meeting and that 45 minutes has passed without the meeting starting. 

What was most unsustainable was the appointment of the Municipal Manager who was also reflagged by a letter from the National department of corporate governance and traditional affairs who indicated that MM Maluleka was implicated in the illegal investments in the VBS bank whilst still employed with Madibeng local Municipality. 

The stability of Mogalakwena Municipality has been hogging headlines over a decade for corruption and was placed under section 139 of the constitution by the executive council of Limpopo Provincial government. It should also be borne in mind that two people were killed in Mogalakwena for investigating the fraud and corruption in the municipality. 

What is very disappointing was that the irregularly appointed Municipal Manager suspended the chief financial officer three days after resuming his duties and within fourteen days then decided to submit an item in a special council meeting to privatise fleet management and information technology services of the municipality.  

This was not surprising because the irregularly appointed municipal manger was previously employed at Belabela Local municipality and Waterberg district Municipality and had outsourced fleet services and information technology in those municipalities that he was working in which confirms that its his modus operandi of looting municipal finances by outsourcing those services.

SAMWU is overly disappointed that over and above the actions of the irregularly appointed Municipal Manger to suspend the Chief financial officer, outsource services such as information technology and fleet, he has now decided to suspend more than twenty employees of the municipality including shop stewards in total disregard of labour relations provisions regulating suspensions of shop stewards, all of the things done within thirty days of his appointment as Municipal Manager

The saddest thing is that the ANC has made a commitment to the people of South African that it shall isolate and root out corrupt tendencies in public and private sector whilst recent Auditor’s general report also confirms the impact of R1,2 billion loss by municipalities to corruption and malfeasance but remains stone silent on this matter. SAMWU calls on all South Africans particularly the working class to work together and built a broad front to campaign against this class collaborationist decision and revolutionary setback.

Issued by SAMWU Limpopo Province

Patrick Aphane

Provincial Secretary

078 403 5015