Ramokgopa accused of trying to retain power in Tshwane

Efforts to clean up Pretoria city centre will be a painful process that must be tackled, says Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa. (File, Beeld)
Efforts to clean up Pretoria city centre will be a painful process that must be tackled, says Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa. (File, Beeld)

Pretoria - ANC members in Tshwane have accused current mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa of trying to retain power by placing his supporters into positions within the city ahead of his departure.

The members say Ramokgopa wants to make his replacement Thoko Didiza a ceremonial mayor while he maintains influence and control of the city after August 3.

- Elections Map: Previous Tshwane results

"RED's [regional executive directors] were given contracts and now they have advertised more positions," a source speaking on condition of anonymity told News24.

"Sputla is trying to rule from the grave and turning Thoko into a ceremonial mayor."

This comes after 20 job advertisements were placed in the media for senior positions.

They are for:

1. City Manager

2. Deputy City Manager (Strategic Development and Implementation)

3. Deputy City Manager (Governance and support services)

4. Deputy City Manager (Infrastructure and community services)

5. Deputy City Manager (Service delivery and Co-ordination)

6. Group Chief Financial Officer

7. Chief of Audit Executive

8. SEH (Secretariat of Council)

9. SEH (Office of the Chief Whip)

10. SEH (Office of the Mayor)

11. SED (Community and business safety)

12. ED (Chief Disciplinary Specialist)

13. SED (Health and social development)

14. ED (Deputy Chief of Police)

15. ED (Emergency medical and ambulance services)

16. ED (Fire brigade services)

17. ED (Fresh produce market)

18. SED (Group property management)

19. SED (Re Aga Tshwane)

20. SED (Customer relations)

Another source said jobs were not supposed to be advertised or long term contracts awarded on the eve of elections.

Room for manipulation

"In terms of the law, he is not allowed to fill any posts on the eve of elections. Five months before elections, we can't have appointment or advertisement of senior managers of municipalities, as well as the awarding of long-term tenders and the sale of land. These are the last kicks of a dying horse," said the source.

Another person said the adverts, with a closing date of July 21, leave too much room for manipulation. He said only the CVs of people who favour Ramokgopa would be kept.

"They will only select the CVs of people they want to head up the positions to ensure that when interviews are conducted it's their people there. The positions were supposed to be advertised after the elections to ensure Didiza can make her decisions without the influence or interference of the current administration in the process," said the source.

Legadima Leso from Cogta said there was no law that prohibits appointments but they are always linked to the term of office of the person leading a particular municipality.

"Tshwane has advertised a number of positions but those positions will not be filled now. They can only be filled after the elections. They will assist the new manager when they come into office because there would already be a process in place and they would get the CV's and just shortlist. There is no way the current mayor can appoint anyone because it must be linked to his term of office," said Leso.

Mayoral spokesperson Blessing Manale said there was nothing sinister with the adverts. He said the vacancies were as a result of the current term of office coming to an end.

“The CFO position was vacant, it was a long disciplinary case. The City manager and deputy are all on five-year contracts. They started in 2011 and their contracts are ending at the end of August. Those positions will be filled after 30 days and the mayor won't be a councillor by the time they are filled. It's not possible that he can be able to fill in those positions himself,” said Manale.

- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.

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