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

Mayor Solly Msimanga has asked for a full audit on qualifications held by management in his office, following a qualifications scandal involving the City of Tshwane's chief of staff.

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

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 for the position.

READ: City of Tshwane chief of staff Marietha Aucamp resigns

Aucamp then resigned at the behest of Msimanga on Thursday. The mayor said that revelations and prima facie evidence had come to the fore, leaving him no option but to ask Aucamp to resign.

While the investigation into Aucamp's qualifications and subsequent appointment is ongoing, Msimanga has now officially written to the city manager to institute an audit of qualifications for all officials in the City who currently hold management positions.

"It's time to do a proper clean-up of the system," Msimanga told News24.

DA 'takes action'

He said the audit would include people hired during his time as mayor and those hired before the DA-led administration took over Tshwane.

Msimanga added that managers, directors and group heads at the City of Tshwane would be audited and that if they are found to be without the required qualifications, they would be dealt with appropriately.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the DA had proven that it holds people to account.

READ: Prima facie evidence against City of Tshwane chief of staff, says Msimanga

"Show me anywhere where the ANC acts... but the truth is it is only in the DA where we take action," Maimane said.

Speaking to 702 last week, Aucamp maintained that she never claimed to have any other qualification other than a matric certificate and also said she was never asked to resign by the Tshwane mayor but did so out of her own volition.

"I did ask her to step down, and it's unfortunate the statement made by her following the press statement that we released to say we asked her to resign," said Msimanga.

HR processes flouted

He added that he would not allow the investigation into Aucamp's qualifications to fizzle out and that he wanted to find out where HR processes had been flouted.  

"I want to get to the bottom of what happened with HR processes, right from the beginning, so that will also need to be clarified. I want to know what happened, who was responsible and where did it slip, so we can then remedy that."

Msimanga explained that while he was part of the panel that interviewed Aucamp for the position, he did not deal with her qualifications, but rather if she was able to do the job.

"We deal with the practical work that needs to be done," said Msimanga, speaking about what the panel dealt with in the interview.

"I was never involved in the shortlisting or scrutinising of the CVs."

He said the reason that the panel did not have to deal with the qualifications was because the HR department is in charge of gatekeeping processes through which the qualifications and experience of candidates are assessed and shortlists of candidates to be interviewed are created.

Unexplained B-Tech

He added that part of the gatekeeping process involves an external company which does an assessment and vets the candidates.

"You assume that when these things come back to you, everything that needed to be done has been done."

Aucamp, in a scant one-and-a-half-page CV, does not state her qualifications. She only states that she was acting chief of staff in Msimanga's office and that she 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.

It is unclear who filled out the form but when asked, Aucamp could not explain to News24 why that was included on the sheet.

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