Mayor accused of nepotism

2008-06-16 00:00

Allegations of nepotism have emerged against the mayor of Richmond, Ben Ngcongo, following the appointment of a person who is allegedly close to him, but not qualified, to the position of strategic manager: corporate services.

Sources within the municipality claim that Sikhombiso Louis Mthembu was not shortlisted because his qualifications are not complete. Mthembu is expected to start in the position on July 1.

According to sources, Mthembu’s name appeared under disqualified candidates along with 24 other candidates in the minutes of a meeting of the Richmond Municipality short-listing committee held on February 4. The Witness has this information in its possession.

The minutes show that one applicant was shortlisted for interviews. A source said a candidate who qualified for the job and has been acting in the position for over two years was overlooked.

He said this woman’s contribution has won the municipality many accolades. The applicant declined to speak to The Witness, but said she has lodged a grievance about Mthembu’s appointment.

The source said the initial short-listing was done by an independent assessor from the Local Government Department, but later the municipality independently compiled another list.

Mthembu’s CV, which is in the possession of The Witness, shows that he has not yet completed a National Diploma in Public Management.

DA councillor Thembokwakhe Madonda said the mayor and Mthembu are close and even if they are not cousins they want to work in the same team. “There seem to be plans that they might be up to, which does not sit well with us,” said Madonda.

Acting Richmond municipal manager Wayne Donnelly confirmed the grievance, and said the mayor denies Mthembu is his cousin. “The appointment of Mr Mthembu is in line with the minimum competency levels of senior manager.”

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