Aucamp's appointment as chief of staff was irregular - City of Tshwane

Marietha Aucamp should never have been appointed as the chief of staff of the City of Tshwane, city manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola said on Thursday.

"What happened here was wrong," said Mosola, while releasing the findings of an investigation into Aucamp's appointment.

News24 reported that the former chief of staff was appointed to the position, in which she earned an annual salary of R1.2m, even though she did not have the required qualifications.

READ: COPE opens fraud case against Tshwane former chief of staff Aucamp

In documentation that News24 has seen, Aucamp, in a scant one-and-a-half-page CV, did not state her qualifications.

She only stated that she was acting chief of staff in Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga's office and that she had previously worked as the chief whip of the DA in the Tshwane metro.  

In what is referred to as the "assessment centre personal information sheet", dated October 10, 2016, it is stated that Aucamp has a B.Tech.

More investigations

Shortly after the news broke, Aucamp was placed on special leave and an investigation was instituted to probe her appointment and the qualifications listed on her assessment form.

Aucamp then resigned at the behest of Msimanga.

Msimanga said revelations and prima facie evidence had come to the fore, leaving him no option but to ask Aucamp to resign. He also officially wrote to the Mosola to institute an audit of qualifications for all officials in the City who currently hold management positions.

Reading his report, Mosola said he became aware in January 2018 that Aucamp may not have had the required qualifications, and initiated an investigation.

He then gave Aucamp seven days to submit certified copies of her qualifications for audit and verification purposes.

READ: Msimanga wants full audit of qualifications of top staff in City of Tshwane

The findings of the investigation into Aucamp form phase one of the city manager's investigations on academic qualifications of senior officials.

"On September 1, 2016, Ms Aucamp was appointed on a temporary basis as the chief of staff for a period of six months… Among the requirements for the position were; a relevant bachelor's degree or qualification, twelve years' experience and good knowledge of performance management."

Interviews were conducted on May 15, 2018. He said various media houses then reported claims that she did not have the required qualification for the position.

"As the city manager, I promptly instituted a full investigation."

Aucamp should have been disqualified

Mosola explained that 17 candidates had applied for the position. He said two did not meet the requirements, including Aucamp. He said, after it had been established that Aucamp did not qualify, she should have been disqualified immediately.

"Ms Aucamp was taken, despite the qualification gap."

Mosola found that Msimanga had been exonerated from any impropriety and that Aucamp had misrepresented her qualifications by stating that she had a B.Tech degree.

"The appointment of the chief of staff, both in an acting position and on contract, was irregular and was not in line with the job requirements and our HR policies."

"There is evidence that the City's human resources officials did not follow our procedures and policies and actively side-stepped our processes to effect the appointment of the former chief of staff."

He recommended that HR officials be subjected to a disciplinary process, which would lead to consequence management.

The investigation found that there were clear loopholes in the process of her appointment. Mosola said it was too early to determine whether this was a syndicate or an isolated incident.

"The City manager must refer all the legal issues pertaining to possible actions to the legal department for further processing."

No decision yet on recouping money

Mosola said, based on the legal advice that he would recieve, the City would be able to decide on whether to recoup the money that Aucamp had earned over the years and if criminal proceedings would be instituted.

"Remember, she still has her pension with us, so we need to hear what legal says before we can take any further action because there are legal implications.

Msimanga said he would not resign over the matter.

"I think we should be praised because we did not hide anything. Instead, we are being criticised. Perhaps we are the victims of our own success. In future, the appointment of the chief of staff needs someone who understands the party's policies and manifesto."

He said this did not necessarily mean it would be a cadre deployment.


 

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