Msimanga sticks to his guns over city manager appointment

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga speaking to News24 (Karabo Ngoepe, News24, file).
Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga speaking to News24 (Karabo Ngoepe, News24, file).

Johannesburg - Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga defended his appointment of new city manager Moeketsi Mosola, following opposition from African National Congress council members on Tuesday.

He said the council had followed a comprehensive and stringent nomination process. Candidates were subjected to psychometric tests and exhaustive interviews by a multi-party panel, including an external panellist not affiliated to any party. The law had been observed and due process followed, he said.

Msimanga announced Masola’s appointment on Friday. The appointment would be sent to the Gauteng local government MEC for concurrence.

ANC Tshwane spokesperson and council member Lesego Makhubela said Mosola did not have a municipal finance management programme certificate, a prerequisite when applying for the position of city manager.

“If you don’t have it, the law stipulates that you must get a waiver from the minister of finance in writing and seek permission from the minister of finance, and that has not been done,” Makhubela told News24.

READ: Msimanga breached 'One China' policy says Dirco

Sufficient experience

Msimanga’s spokesperson Sam Mgobozi confirmed to News24 that Mosola did not have the certificate.

He said the city had applied for the waiver, since few individuals outside the local government sphere had the qualification.

Makhubela claimed Mosola never applied for the post. Mgobozi said Mosola applied and was listed as a candidate.

Makhubela said of the shortlisted group, which did not include Mosola, all candidates had sufficient experience in the city manager’s office. All five had the required certificate.

Mgobozi said the original five candidates did not all have the required qualification. After shortlisting the candidates, the panel decided it needed to consider “a broader spectrum” of individuals that had applied.

Makhubela said Msimanga should have re-advertised the post if he was not happy with the shortlisted candidates, in accordance with the Municipal Systems Act.

“You don’t circumvent the process and then go again and head hunt.”

Again, Mgobozi said legislation did not prescribe re-advertisement or repetition of the process.

Makhubela said the ANC did not have a problem with Mosola, a former CEO of Tourism SA who holds a Master’s degree in economics. It was merely doing its job by holding the administration accountable and ensuring that people were appointed in accordance with the law.

Msimanga’s office told News24 that what made Mosola stand out from the rest of the candidates was his “fresh, new and dynamic thinking”.

This did not mean the other candidates were unqualified, but rather that the mayor exercised his discretion to go with an outsider, and not someone already party of the establishment.

“It’s simply a new administration wanting new and fresh approaches to existing challenges,” Mgobozi said.

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