Johannesburg – Controversial head of safety and security at Nelson Mandela Bay metro Linda Mti is working well in the DA-led municipality, Deputy Mayor Mongameli Bobani told News24.
This despite DA Mayor Athol Trollip's overwhelming outrage throughout his local election campaign over Mti's appointment during former mayor Danny Jordaan's tenure.
"There was something about Mti before the election. Even Trollip was saying there was evidence that he is corrupt. He is co-operating well with this government because we are treating him like any other worker," UDM member Bobani said.
He said the metro's new leadership was not planning on purging any staff.
He said the newly-elected leadership would be scrutinising suspicious appointments in its first 100 days and "those that managed to get a job through corrupt ways – we will scrutinise them and will take action in accordance with the labour laws of the country".
Bobani was elected as the city's deputy mayor after rigorous negotiations with the DA.
He told News24 that the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) and Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) had already initiated talks with the metro.
"Samwu has welcomed the new leadership. There is not even a toyi-toyi since we came to power. Not a single worker is out of office. Instead, the workers are so happy they are in this new environment. There will be no purge of any staff members.
"Samwu and Imatu, without us even asking, came to tell us that there are these grey areas which we need the new leadership to focus on. Unfortunately the ANC deployees have a contract of five years and the municipal manager wrote a letter saying they must vacate the city offices."
Last week Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali announced that workers should prepare for serious battles in DA-led municipalities.
Workers being ignored
Ntshalintshali said the DA's anti-worker and anti-union policies "automatically" meant that the party could be expected to "unleash a war against workers and purge many of them from municipalities they won", News24 reported.
Responding to those threats, Bobani accused Ntshalintshali of ignoring workers. He said Trollip's office wrote to Cosatu asking them to visit the city and hear its plans.
"Ntshalintshali never even visited us so we can give him our plans. He is ignoring his union Samwu. He just called journalists and made a statement. Samwu is supporting us... Where does he take this thinking that we are going to purge staff?"
In June, Trollip called for Jordaan to suspend Mti until his appointment was regularised, accusing Jordaan of slipping him in to the position irregularly.
According to the DA, his appointment was supposed to have been ratified by the MEC for co-operative government and traditional affairs Fikile Xasa within 14 days of his appointment on May 9.
The DA questioned Mti's appointment to that position given his two drunk driving convictions and possibly being the subject of a National Prosecuting Authority investigation.
Mti then sent a lawyer's letter to Trollip warning him to stop making "insulting remarks" or face court action.