Theewaterskloof municipal manager maintains he was prepared to take on Bredell

Outgoing Theewaterskloof municipal manager Wilfred Solomons-Johannes.

Outgoing Theewaterskloof municipal manager Wilfred Solomons-Johannes.

Published Mar 8, 2024


Outgoing Theewaterskloof municipal manager Wilfred Solomons-Johannes maintains he was prepared to take on Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC, Anton Bredell before the parties reached a court settlement paving the way for him to vacate his position in June.

Solomons-Johannes welcomed the court order on Thursday and said that he was compliant with all the requirements for the appointment in the position of municipal manager.

“It must be made clear that the MEC’s team approached the municipality and me for a settlement. Eventually, after negotiations led by the legal teams, the agreement was mutually accepted. I was prepared to fight the MEC in court, and confident that the appointment process was lawful, but we decided to prevent further expenses and to save the taxpayers’ money,” Solomons-Johannes said.

He added that he was likely to participate once again in the process of appointing a municipal manager.

“I will see to it that the new process does not interrupt good governance and service delivery and, as always, my only intent is to serve the people of the municipality and the broader Theewaterskloof,” he said.

Bredell had approached the courts after the appointment on July 27 last year.

At the time, Theewaterskloof Mayor Mary Liebenberg expressed concerns about Bredell’s motive as he had approved the appointment of Solomons-Johannes as the Director for Community Services and as the Acting Municipal Manager.

The matter was set to be heard in court on March 5, but on Wednesday Bredell said they had instead reached an out-of-court agreement.

“Despite a notice of opposition by the Respondents in the matter, a proposal was tabled by the legal representative of the Respondents to Senior Counsel representing the Minister (MEC) to the extent of settling the matter by way of an agreement being made an Order of Court. On 5 March 2024, a Court Order was obtained declaring the appointment of Mr Solomons-Johannes as unlawful and having been set aside, and his last working day will be June 22 2024. Furthermore, the municipality was ordered to commence with a new recruitment and selection process no later than the 22 March 2024 for the appointment of a municipal manager,” said Bredell.

Bredell’s office did not respond to questions around why the appointment was unlawful and why he had approached the courts.

The municipality said: “Solomons-Johannes will remain in the position until the conclusion of the process.

“Each party agreed to pay their own costs and the settlement agreement was made an order of court. This agreement reflects the commitment of the Theewaterskloof government and management to upholding the principles of legality and procedural fairness in governance. The municipality is committed to conducting the forthcoming recruitment and selection process with the utmost integrity and diligence.”

Cape Times