Manager who harassed employee gets another top municipal job

2012-03-30 14:33

A former municipal manager who was ordered to pay damages for the sexual harassment of an employee has been offered another top job as manager of Emalahleni municipality in Mpumalanga.

The Emalahleni council in Emalahleni (formerly Witbank) resolved to employ George Mthimunye as municipal manager and began negotiating his salary last night.

Mthimunye was a manager of Dr JS Moroka municipality in Siyabuswa from 1998 until 2001 when he left after a married administration clerk, Ester Mahlangu-Mathibela, accused him of sexual harassment and sued him in the Northern Gauteng High Court.

Mahlangu-Mathibela sued the municipality and Mthimunye for R1.3 million, claiming that the manager had subjected her to sexual harassment for three years.

In February, Judge Jody Kollapen found that Mthimunye had indeed subjected Mahlangu-Mathibela to sexual harassment and ordered both the council and Mthimunye to pay damages. The Dr JS Moroka municipality failed to extricate itself from paying damages when its application for leave to appeal was dismissed with costs.

Emalahleni municipal spokesperson Lebohang Mofokeng confirmed that Mthimunye had been appointed, but demanded written questions on the matter. The questions were e-mailed to him but he had not responded.

The DA had voted against Mthimunye’s appointment.

“While Mr Mthimunye’s qualifications on paper may appear to be suitable, his conduct shows the contrary. His imminent appointment is simply a continuation of the ANC’s ‘jobs for pals’ scheme, and in no way holds the best interests of the public and the community at heart,” said DA spokesperson Willie Venter.

Mthimunye was in the headlines in 2010 after police unravelled a plot to assassinate him for stopping an R86-million housing tender to build 470 low cost homes by companies linked to ANC leaders in the area.

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