‘Job for pals’: Mpumalanga official appears in court

2015-01-16 15:36

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Mbombela city’s municipal manager, Noko Seanego, has appeared in court on fraud and corruption charges relating to the irregular hiring of ANC cadres.

Mpumalanga police arrested Seanego today following an investigation into the irregular employment of 30 law enforcement officers in October last year.

He appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court and was released on R2 000 bail pending further police investigations. Seanego will appear in court again on February 19.

Provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, said: “Apparently there were discrepancies in the employment of law enforcement officers. He allegedly employed people who did not apply and were not shortlisted for the jobs.”

Seanego was a corporate services director when he allegedly manipulated the employment of the officers. He was promoted to municipal manager of Mbombela in the first week of December.

City Press revealed last year that the municipality suspended a South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) shop steward, Mthokozisi Mhlongo, from his job as a traffic police officer after he protested about the irregularities.

Mhlongo sat on the panel and, together with an Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union shop steward, lodged a number of complaints about the hiring.

City Press also obtained audio and video recordings supporting the claims.

The chairperson of the panel, Thamsanqa Khumalo, allegedly arrived with a list of 40 Ehlanzeni region ANC members to be shortlisted and hired for the jobs.

Seanego allegedly interfered with the processes by bringing in several candidates who were never shortlisted and gave instructions for some to be given interview scores even though they did not attend interviews.

He also allegedly forced ten candidates who passed the interviews but were not ANC members to accept jobs as lower paid security guards instead. Six of the successful candidates declined the offer and they are captured in the audio recording arguing with Seanego.

The four who accepted the security jobs lost out on earning R146 000 a year as law enforcement officers. Security guards earn R97 000.

Seanego also allegedly changed the name of some of the positions to “specialised security officers” because some of the cadres had criminal records and did not qualify to be law enforcement officers.

The municipality advertised 16 law enforcement officer vacancies but ended up employing 30 people at an additional cost of about R2 million a year.

Mbombela spokesperson, Joseph Ngala, was not available to comment.

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