Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency/ANA

Pretoria - Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga has defended the appointment of an executive director in his office, who was hired without post-matric qualifications.

The implicated official, Stefan de Villiers, was appointed in the mayor's private office in 2016 with a Grade 12 certificate and another certificate in body-building. Msimanga said De Villiers was a political appointee and the inherent job requirements for positions such as his were different from those of municipal administrators. 

"All government leaders appoint and need support staff who can be trusted to land our policies in government, communicate our message, and handle sensitive information,” he said.

Msimanga responded to a newspaper report, which suggested that De Villiers didn't have the necessary qualifications required for the post. According to the report, the vacancy required a person with a bachelor's degree and 12 years experience, of which five years must be in a senior level.

But, Msimanga said De Villiers was by far the most qualified candidate for the job, saying he played a vital role in ensuring that he has time available in his schedule to communicate with all of Tshwane’s communities.

“He has worked extensively setting up community events and engagements in our City for several years. It is imperative that I have a trusted individual heading up my diary to ensure all communities have equal and adequate access to their mayor,” he said.

The ANC caucus in Tshwane has, on the other hand, called for Msimanga’s head following media reports that he employed a high-ranking official with no requisite qualifications.

The party also wanted the MMC for Corporate Services Cilliers Brink to be axed for the role he played role in the appointment. Party's caucas spokesperson Lesego Makhubela said: “Overwhelming evidence continues to pour in which proves that they are at the heart of employing at the nerve center and at the heart of the city’s administration incompetent, unqualified, inexperienced and unskilled white DA members, breaking the law and flouting recruitment policies of the city.”

He said the ANC wanted De Villiers to be removed with immediate effect and the city to recoup monies paid to him. The report about De Villiers' questionable appointment followed recent controversies surrounding the appointment of another top official former DA chief whip Marietha Aucamp, who was illegally hired as the chief of staff in the mayor’s office.

Aucamp, who had since resigned, took home an annual salary of R1.2 million. Her resignation propelled Msimanga to institute an investigation into allegations of irregularities linked her appointment. The outcome of the inquiry found that she falsified her BTech degree.

Makhubela said: “We are happy that the police have made great progress in the case of fraud and corruption opened against Marietha “Hlaudi” Aucamp who we have no doubt, will face the full might of the law and that every cent she received whilst corruptly earning from the city of Tshwane will be recovered.”

Pretoria News