Mzwandile Masina suspends speechwriter for 'transgressing Ekurhuleni's social media policy'

2020-05-12 19:05
Ekhuruleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina.

Ekhuruleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina. (OJ Koloti, Gallo Images)

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Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina has decided to suspend his speechwriter, Malaika Mahlatsi, following a lovers' spat which played out on social media.

Mahlatsi has been suspended with full pay, with the mayor saying she had transgressed the Municipal Systems Act, Code of Conduct and the City of Ekurhuleni's social media policy.

While it was Mahlatsi's ex-lover, who took to social media with damning allegations against the speechwriter and social commentator, she also got involved in the back and forth, revealing that she had approached the police after the deterioration of their brief relationship.

The speechwriter's former lover also accused her of writing a PhD dissertation for the Ekurhuleni mayor.

It is also believed there is an audio clip of Mahlatsi claiming the mayor decreased the salaries of staffers at the municipality without consultation.

"A staff member of a municipality must at all times act in the best interest of the municipality and in such a way that the credibility and integrity of the municipality are not compromised," Masina's spokesperson Phakamile Mbengashe said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mbengashe said the municipality's social media policy also dictated that personal use of social media platforms must be conducted in a manner that indicates no link or association with the metro.

"The [City of Ekurhuleni] will, however, take necessary steps should users make use of social media in a manner that has a direct, indirect or potential impact on the [City's] reputation or interests," continued the mayoral spokesperson.

Consulted widely

Mbengashe said Masina consulted widely and called on heads of departments, members of the mayoral committee, the city manager and the city's financial officer to join him when he made the decision to donate 33% of his salary to the Solidarity Fund, which was set up to raise funds for the battle against the deadly novel coronavirus.

READ: City of Ekurhuleni staff donate R600 000 to Solidarity Fund

He also said those who had agreed to donate portions of their earnings had signed pledges to authorise the human resources department to dock their salaries.

"The executive mayor has no authority to decrease the salaries of municipal staff," said Mbengashe.

Mbengashe said Masina was also at an "early stage" of his research proposal for a doctoral degree of philosophy.

"At no point has any individual authored or contributed to the contents of the research proposal, including anyone who was reviewing or proofreading the material," said Mbengashe.

Read more on:    city of ekurhuleni  |  mzwandile masina  |  pretoria

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