TSHWANE – The ANC in Tshwane on Thursday said it was opening a fraud case against City of Tshwane’s chief of staff Marietha Aucamp who was placed on special leave following media reports stating that she did not have adequate qualifications for her job, and that Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga was instrumental in her appointment.
"We have always said to you, Solly is not the mayor of Tshwane, but Marietha was the actual mayor. Marietha has been the boss of Solly for over 10 years. She was the chief whip of the DA [Democratic Alliance] in council for over 10 years. Solly and other councillors were reporting to her," said ANC Tshwane caucus spokesperson Lesego Makhubela.
"When this [DA-led] administration was put into power, Marietha was a councillor of the DA. She was then appointed as an MMC, and we made an outcry that the executive which had been appointed was lily-white. They then removed her and placed her directly in the office of the mayor. She was then given a position which she is not qualified for."
Makhubela insisted that in the Tshwane House corridors, Aucamp was known to possess significant power.
"She was placed there to babysit the puppet. She is the one who ensures that the puppet is on the string, toes the party line, telling him where to go and how to do certain things. This is why the DA has gone to great lengths, breaking the law," said Makhubela.
"We are going to open a case of fraud when we leave this place. She filled [in] with her own hands that she has a Btech. She claims that she has a degree. She has been drawing a salary of R1.7 milion [annually] and that money must be paid back. Firing her is not enough, every little cent that she got from the the City of Tshwane must be paid back to build RDP houses."
The opposition ANC in Tshwane is calling for Msimanga to resign immediately, in the wake of the chief of staff's qualifications scandal.
Head of the ANC in the Tshwane Council, Mapiti Matsena said the "current brouhaha" surrounding the appointment of Aucamp vindicates the opposition party.
"We raised the issue of the appointment of Aucamp in September 2016 and we were met with all sorts of insults and point scoring innuendos by Solly Msimanga. When confronted with this allegation, Msimanga accused the ANC of creating a diversionary tactic intended from distracting the DA from its mandate. He was shielding his boss Marietha Aucamp," said Matsena.
The ANC insists Msimanga wrongfully sat on the panel which appointed Aucamp - flouting rules and regulations on appointment of senior managers.
"He further scored her highest, in fact gave her maximum points. It is frivolous that the mayor and his drum majorettes sat in the panel that appointed Aucamp, who has an imaginary bachelor's degree and has listed [DA federal chairman] James Selfe as a reference. It is criminal that the city didn't apply for a waiver as informed by the local government act, including the policy of the city," said Matsena.
ANC spokesperson in Tshwane Tebogo Joala presented numerous documents apparently signed by Aucamp, purporting that she had a B.Tech degree.
"As you can see in the documents before you, not only are we dealing with the mayor who is disingenuous but the kind of person who is a pathological liar who knowingly and deliberately misled the people of the city, and the Republic," said Joala.
African News Agency/ANA