Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille.
Cape Town - Mayor Patricia de Lille is being blamed for the settlement awarded to a disgruntled employee - overlooked for a top metro policing job - because she ignored advice from her top officials.

Documents leaked to the Cape Argus show that in spite of recommendations by the City’s legal adviser, an executive director and then City manager, Achmat Ebrahim, to challenge the Bargaining Council’s ruling that an employee Annalene Marais be compensated R336 413 for not getting the job, De Lille overruled their advice.

But De Lille has refuted this, saying she opted to settle because the City didn’t follow its own proper procedures.

READ MORE: Overlooked candidate for top cop job gets paid out R300 000

Her spokesperson Zara Nicholson said: “The bargaining council awarded against the City. The mayor duly considered the request and took a decision not to take further action as only one candidate was shortlisted for the position which was not in line with the city’s policy.

“The bargaining council commissioner also noted in the ruling that the applicant should have been afforded an opportunity to compete for the position.”

De Lille said it was the City’s policy that more than one person be shortlisted for a position.

“We cannot challenge a ruling or take it on review, when we have not followed our own rules,” she said, adding that executive directors make appointments in the administration.

The job of director of policing was given to former top cop Robbie Roberts.

E-mail exchanges in June 2015 between Roberts and the City’s director for safety and security Richard Bosman confirmed the job was earmarked only for Roberts. This followed prior discussions even before a mayoral committee meeting where the post was approved.

The discussions were between Bosman and Mayco member for safety, security and social services JP Smith.

On November 11, 2016, Juliana Roux, legal adviser at the directorate for corporate advisory services, wrote to De Lille, Ebrahim and then director for corporate services Lungelo Mbandazayo. Roux pointed out that De Lille, as mayor, was the only official to authorise or defend, appeal and review proceedings including arbitration rulings in the high court or a court of equal stature.

She said the arbitration award to Marais was bizarre. Roux said the position was initially conceptualised in 2008, but was never filled as no suitable candidates could be identified.

Marais, who is metro police deputy chief applied to be appointed in 2009, but the City concluded she was not a suitable candidate.

Roux said the only person who was qualified for the shortlist was Roberts who had 31 years of experience in the police.

He was also previously a brigadier and held a position of major-general in the police. “One applicant in fact cited Roberts as a reference,” she added.

[email protected]

Cape Argus