Sex pest gets top job in legislature

2014-03-30 14:00

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He has been accused of sexual harassment, he left a North West municipality under a cloud and an Mpumalanga municipality was placed under administration on his watch.

But this has not stopped George Mthimunye from landing a job as executive manager of corporate services with the Mpumalanga legislature.

And his new employers insist that nothing about his professional past disqualifies him for the job – even a successful civil claim against him on the sexual harassment allegations.

Mthimunye, former municipal manager of Emalahleni, started his new job at the beginning of this month.

He has not been at work since February last year, when protesting municipal employees accosted him and chased him from Emalahleni’s offices to the ANC’s Nkangala regional offices. They left him there with, as they put it, “the individuals who deployed him”.

The municipality was placed under administration two months later.

Emalahleni spokesperson Lebohang Mofokeng said Mthimunye resigned last month, but had been working away from the municipal offices for his own safety.

The legislature is not concerned by this, nor by a successful civil claim against Mthimunye for sexual harassment stemming from his tenure as the manager of Dr JS Moroka municipality, also in Mpumalanga.

The North Gauteng High Court ruled in 2012 that Mthimunye had, from 1998 to 2001, sexually harassed administrative clerk Esther Mahlangu-Mathibela.

The court also found that he deliberately hampered her career progress when she rejected his advances.

Mahlangu-Mathibela won a R5?million civil claim against Mthimunye and the Dr JS Moroka municipality, but the council has been paying the bill alone.

Zamagambu Memela-Gamede, the spokesperson for the Mpumalanga legislature, said Mthimunye had not been convicted of any crime. “According to our information, Mr Mthimunye has not been convicted of any crime. The legislature conducts security checks in terms of our recruitment procedures.”

When Mthimunye was contacted for a comment, he said: “I don’t have a comment. You can direct those questions to the employer.”

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