Geraldine Mettler File photo
Stellenbosch municipal manager Geraldine Mettler allegedly drew a double salary from the City of Cape Town and Stellenbosch with the knowledge of that municipality’s mayor, Gesie van Deventer.

The allegations of misconduct against Mettler topped the agenda in a document in possession of the Cape Times. The document was for a notice of an urgent council meeting in Stellenbosch yesterday.

According to the document, the double payment has not been ratified.

“The fraud and response committee resolved that the allegation made against the municipal manager and the executive mayor resort with council and that the matter be reported to the relevant political barriers, i.e. the deputy executive mayor and Speaker,” read the document.

A tip-off was received via the fraud hotline that Mettler was drawing a double salary from the City and Stellenbosch municipality with the knowledge of Van Deventer, according to the document.

Mettler left the city at the end of December 2016, with the effective date of termination of service being January, 31 2017, said City of Cape Town municipal manager Achmat Ebrahim.

“The City was unaware that she had taken up a position with full payment at the Stellenbosch Municipality with effect from January 1. However, as soon as the City was alerted by the pension fund of the potential double payment, it commenced with a process of recovering any overpaid amounts,” he said.

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) has called for Mettler’s head, saying the municipality must thoroughly investigate the misconduct allegations.

“We know officials in municipalities can tamper with the investigation. These are very serious allegations and they show dishonesty from accounting officers in the municipality,” said Samwu provincial chairperson Sebenzile Kiva.

Asked what action Stellenbosch Municipality had taken in light of the allegations, spokesperson Annalene de Beer said the municipality did not comment on allegations against employees and the matter was dealt with confidentially.

“This matter is confidential and the documentation was provided to you illegally Any use of the confidential information provided to you without the municipality’s approval will be reported to the Press Ombudsman,” she said.

“The documentation was only sent to councillors and should a councillor discuss with or provide such documentation to anybody else, he/she is transgressing the Code of Conduct and the municipality has not authorised the provision of such information to you or anybody else. The information on the hotline is also confidential.

“No payments were made to the employee by Stellenbosch Municipality that she was not entitled to in terms of her contract with the municipality. 

"The municipality is aware of a dispute between the individual and her previous employer, but regards it as a private matter that does not concern this municipality, the council or the executive mayor.

‘‘Disputes must best be dealt with in terms of dispute mechanisms, including the courts, and may not be discussed by the municipality especially as we are not a party to the dispute.”