Unanswered questions

2008-02-06 00:00

It was good to learn yesterday that Monica Mngadi, the erstwhile municipal manager of the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, has finally resigned her position, as also has chief financial officer Bongani Ndlovu. Both have left office and neither, apparently, will be considered for other posts in the district.

This seems a satisfactory resolution of an important case and the acting municipal manager and chief financial officer appointed by the province should now be able to get down to the business of running the municipality effectively and putting its financial affairs to rights.

Still, there are aspects of the matter that have not been satisfactorily explained. As a reader put it yesterday, Mngadi didn’t appoint herself. How was it that her fabricated CV was accepted, when it listed qualifications (including an “honorary doctorate” awarded by an institution she herself chaired) that were blatantly bogus? And how was it that Ndlovu was permitted to preside for so long over the increasingly disastrous financial situation?

In other words, the basis for the appointments and the credentials of those responsible for them should now be thoroughly investigated. For, since Mngadi and Ndlovu manifestly were not the best people for the posts they held, their appointments may well have been made for other reasons — political patronage, or nepotism, or the prospect of access, through them, to municipal funds. Otherwise, and just as bad, those who approved their appointments must have been incompetent to do so — ignorant of proper procedure and without an understanding of the requirements.

Acting uMgungundlovu mayor Aubrey Lukhele would no doubt like to sweep the whole thing under the rug and forget it. Unfortunately, it won’t go away that easily — not until the questions surrounding the appointments are fully and publicly answered, and steps taken to prevent a recurrence of this kind of impropriety and mismanagement.

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