Opposition parties in the Ingwe municipality, outside Pietermaritzburg, have joined forces to call on the municipality to recoup all the money paid as salary to the municipal manager who resigned last week amid allegations that she had faked her bachelor’s degree.
DA, IFP and National Freedom Party councillors met in Bulwer yesterday to discuss Seeng Mokoena-Brown’s qualifications and her unexpected resignation last week. She left the municipality without serving notice.
It is not clear how much the Ingwe municipality has paid Mokoena-Brown since she was employed in 2008.
She told The Mercury that when she was promoted to the municipal manager’s position early this year, she earned more than R50 000 a month.
Before that, she was the manager for corporate and social development within the municipality and also acted as municipal manager, but it was not clear how much she was paid for these positions.
The parties said they estimated that in total, more than R4 million was paid to Mokoena-Brown since her employment in 2008.
Opposition parties are represented by six councillors, while the ruling ANC has 16. National Freedom Party councillor Siyabonga Dlamini said he hoped that ANC councillors would also vote for the recovery of money paid to Mokoena-Brown.
The councillors also agreed that when the full council sat tomorrow, they would call for a vote of no confidence against mayor Nomagugu Luzulani. They said that Luzulani, as the chairwoman of the executive committee, should be held accountable for Mokoena-Brown’s employment.
“We met as opposition parties, and took a resolution that the municipality should recover all the money that was paid as salary to the municipal manager, who had faked her qualification,” Dlamini said.
Mokoena resigned last week after the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs started investigating her qualifications.
According to a copy of the results, Mokoena-Brown obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Unisa in 2001. However, she denied knowing about the degree and that she had used it to apply for the position.
The IFP chief whip in the municipality, Hlalani Ngcobo, said: “We demanded that she appear before the standing committee on public accounts… but the ANC said we should just let her go.”
Luzulani said she would only comment after the councillors had put the motion before the full council.
She said that Mokoena-Brown was allowed to leave without serving the notice because she had stated that she was too ill to continue working.
Mokoena-Brown said that she would not pay any money back to the municipality because she had done nothing wrong.