Lesedi Local Municipality’s (LLM) Municipal Manager Paul Mpele has been removed from his position after the MEC for Human Settlements, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in Gauteng – Uhuru Moiloa – declared his appointment null and void at a special council meeting on June 28.
This comes after opposition parties rallied to have Mpele’s appointment, which was done without the proper consent or approval from the Province, annulled.
Mpele arrived at LLM under a cloud of corruption charges from a previous position he held in Mpumalanga and was employed at an annual salary of R1 228 000 which was more than the limit of the regulated remuneration packages for the municipality.
It is also believed that he was appointed in an attempt to prevent the Special Investigations Unit, which has placed all aspects of the municipality under the microscope, from doing its job.
In the interim the responsibilities of the Municipal Manager will be conducted by Gugu Timane who is the Executive Manager, Corporate and Legal.
Meanwhile Isaac Rampedi (Executive Manager Infrastructure), who was the acting Municipal Manager in the two years prior to Mpele’s appointment, has resigned. His role was taken over by Star Mahlobela who will now act in this position for three months.
LLM is also seeking to employ a new Executive Manager of Health as Cynthia Mokoena’s five-year contract has expired. Mokoena has however not been notified accordingly as the procedurally correct manner in two months’ notice in advance.
A Council resolution dated 28 June states that CPP Verster will be acting in Mrs Mokoena’s position. Mokoena was employed by the Municipality for 30 years and the DA also requested that she be given a farewell and letter of appreciation for the good service she rendered during the last 30 years to the Community.
Also read HERAUT’s article – Muncipal manager suspended
The DA has also welcomed the decision to declare Mpele’s appointment as municipal manager null and void.
“The decision was taken in response to the DA’s Lesedi caucus highlighting of the procedural flaws in the process. The MEC’s declaration did however, not give any guidance as to who would be responsible for the recoupment of the salary that has been paid to Mbele since October 2017, nor to the legal standing of all documents and contracts signed by Mpele during this time,” DA shadow deputy minister of public works, Dennis Ryder said.
He added that the salary paid to Mpele since October 2017 has to be paid back to the municipality, as this is tax-payers’ money.
“The DA is committed to good governance and will not allow cadre deployment to supersede due process. We congratulate our Councilors on an excellent job of oversight in this Municipality where the delivery of services is under threat from poor governance and mismanagement,” he said.
Come 2019, the DA said it will once again ensure that illegal appointments of leadership face the might of the law, for a government to be fully functional, leadership appointments have to follow due process and protocol.
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