'De Lille appointee' Nkohla promoted in City of Cape Town despite red flags

2018-01-18 16:06
Loyiso Nkohla and Patricia de Lille (File Gallo Images)

Loyiso Nkohla and Patricia de Lille (File Gallo Images)

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Cape Town - Former ANC councillor Loyiso Nkohla, who was controversially welcomed into the DA by Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille in 2016, has been promoted despite high-level concerns about his appointment in the first place.

News24 understands Nkohla, whose proximity to De Lille has been questioned, now fills a created role which on the City of Cape Town website has a figure of more than R750 000 attached to it.

It is further understood Nkohla’s effective promotion may not have been picked up by top DA members meant to probe tensions within the City’s caucus because by the time it happened, they may have been wrapping up their work or had already done so.

Head of community liaisons

On Thursday, in a response to several questions put to it, a response by the City of Cape Town said Nkohla had been appointed the head of community liaisons for various mayoral committee members.

It said he met the criteria for this role.

"This position was approved by the Mayoral Committee in October 2017. Mr Nkohla was previously a community liaison officer for mayoral committee member Xanthea Limberg," the City's response said.

Limberg is the mayoral committee member for water, informal settlements and waste services Xanthea 

Nkohla's previous position in Limberg's office is what the top DA members had stated, in a report dated December 10, was not necessarily as it seemed.

This report had also found Nkohla's "increasingly central role" in the City worrying.

Nkohla, a former ANC councillor, was previously a leader of Ses'khona People’s Rights Movement – an organisation which made headlines in 2013 when members threw human faeces at the Cape Town International Airport, as well as other locations, to highlight the need for better sanitation in impoverished areas.

Controversial move

In 2016, he joined the DA. This move was frowned upon by some in the party.

About two after of news of Nkohla's joining the party broke, DA leader Mmusi Maimane reportedly instructed De Lille to dismiss Nkohla.

Nkohla’s position within the City formed part of a high-level report compiled by chief whip John Steenhuisen, MP Patricia Kopane, Gauteng leader John Moodey and councillor Karen Smith. 

News24 has obtained a copy of this report, which forms the basis of the DA leadership’s decision on the weekend to discipline De Lille for misconduct. 

READ: REVEALED: The DA's scathing findings against power-drunk De Lille

De Lille has vowed to fight back and clear her name.

A section of the report reads: "It remains unclear why (Nkohla) is allowed to wield so much influence within the City and why he appears to enjoy the ongoing patronage and protection of the mayor."

"It remains unclear how Mr Nkohla was employed in the City, but what is beyond dispute is that his entry into the City administration was facilitated by the mayor," it said.

After Nkohla’s joining of the DA was announced, there were concerns from the public and within the DA.

Nkohla, the report said, was moved to Limberg’s offices, to apparently fill the role of a community liaison officer.

'De Lille's submission unlikely'

"The mayor indicates in her submission that this was 'approved by Cllr Limberg'. This does not, however, seem likely, as Cllr Limberg has indicated to the subcommittee that she was, in fact, most uneasy about this arrangement."

News24 this week established that De Lille and other mayoral committee members signed a document which dealt with the creation and abolishment of positions. Eleven positions below management level were to be created.

Along with her signature, De Lille had written: "All positions must be weighed against water resilience needs."

This document, a September 19 report to the mayoral committee, is on the City of Cape Town’s official website.

New positions created

A second document, also labelled a September 19 report to the mayoral committee, but not signed by all mayoral committee members, then details the creation of five positions at managerial level and below.

One of these positions is for the head mayoral committee community liaison officers, which falls under the directorate of the mayor.

"This new position Head: MAY CO Community Liaison Officer will be responsible for managing the operations of the MAY CO Community as well as providing advice and that will be guidance as required," the document says.

The document says the total value for this job is R 753 625.

The high-level report in tensions in the City caucus did not appear to take this latest development into consideration, but it said the subcommittee was disturbed to hear about "the increasingly central role" Nkohla played in the City’s administration.

Nkohla 'acts with De Lille's mandate'

It said Nkohla had often been heard saying: "I act with the mandate of the mayor". The report said he used this phrase particularly when he did not appear to be getting his way.

It found that he was allocated a council vehicle and he had ignored the City policy that these vehicles may not be taken home.

The report also said there was evidence showing Nkohla resided in a property rented out in the name of a house developer who was based in KwaZulu-Natal.

"It is unclear why this arrangement exists, but given Mr Nkohla’s proximity to the housing function in the City it may well constitute a potential conflict of interest and warrants further investigation," the report said.

Read more on:    da  |  city of cape town  |  loyiso nkohla  |  patricia de lille

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