PRETORIA - The ANC in Tshwane on Thursday opened a fraud case against the City of Tshwane’s beleaguered chief of staff Marietha Aucamp who was placed on special leave following media reports that she did not have adequate qualifications for her job, and that Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga was instrumental in her appointment. 

Head of the ANC in the Tshwane Council, Mapiti Matsena, with ANC Tshwane caucus spokesperson Lesego Makhubela and ANC spokesperson in Tshwane Tebogo Joala went to the Pretoria police station in the city centre, to open the charge, alleging that Aucamp had intentionally lied to the Tshwane Metro, assisted by Msimanga.

Makhubela said the Democratic Alliance-led Tshwane municipality had for long protected Aucamp - likening her to controversial former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng who was not qualified for his job.

“In Tshwane, this is the message that the DA is communicating, that people are not employed on the basis of their competency. They are communicating the message of Botha, and all the apartheid architects, that white people, even if they don’t have qualifications, they can run institutions. Marietha is white, she is an Afrikaner female, she was put there on the basis of the colour of her skin,” said Makhubela.

“What the DA has put here is a Hlaudi. We have a Hlaudi here in Tshwane, put by the DA administration. We are sitting with a Hlaudi. The first appointment that Solly makes as a mayor, which he made in September 2016, he made the appointment of Marietha Aucamp, communicating a message to the citizens of Tshwane that he intends to build on the foundation of collapse. You can imagine being given advice by a person who has no post matric qualification on how to run such a big institution like the City of Tshwane.”

The opposition ANC in Tshwane said the case of Aucamp was not isolated, alleging that several Tshwane officials have been fired and replaced by DA activists in the municipal jobs.

“This [Aucamp case] is nothing, we are coming. We want to warn the DA now, we are coming very hard. For now, we are just focusing on this matter but we are going to be coming very hard because our people in Mamelodi are protesting, there are no services, our people in the townships, there are no services taking places. Our people in this city, highly qualified professionals are being fired every day. Five thousand or more people who were working as EPW [the extended public works programme] were replaced by DA volunteers,” said Makhubela.

The ANC in Tshwane is calling on Msimanga to resign immediately in the wake of the chief of staff's qualifications scandal.

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 pointscoring 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, thereby flouting rules and regulations on the 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