Municipal manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola and mayor Solly Msimanga brief the media about the outcome of an investigation into allegations that former chief of staff Marieta Aucamp was illegally employed. Picture: Rapula Moatshe
The report of the investigation into whether or not Marietha Aucamp lied to the City of Tshwane about her qualifications came out on Thursday.

It revealed that the former chief of staff in the office of mayor Solly Msimanga was not honest about her qualifications when she got the R1.2 million job in November 2016, a few weeks into the new local government term.

It is also now on record that Msimanga played no role in getting the former DA council chief whip the job at the time.

Msimanga had publicly said he would resign as mayor should he be found guilty of influencing the recruitment process.

In announcing the findings, municipal manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola said officials singled out for wrongdoing would face disciplinary proceedings.

It has been suspicious from the outset that there was more to the matter than meets the eye, and that someone knew Aucamp’s shortcomings, but yet managed to squeeze her through as preferred candidate for the job.

The investigation found her to have been dishonest when submitting the relevant papers to the City.

There did not appear to be anyone suitable for the job when she was appointed at the time; she has DA DNA and had been in charge of its caucus for several years.

The job of managing Msimanga’s office required someone who shared his political ideologies.

She thus ticked all the boxes.

But Aucamp eventually fell on her own sword and resigned after news broke that she did not have the BTech qualification she claimed to have.

What is also pleasing is that Mosola indicated the investigation was just a start and would be followed by a second phase to ensure that suitable people are occupying key positions within the metro.

Local government is after all the most important of all levels of government.

When senior political offices in government are filled by people with questionable credentials, it raises questions about their honesty and integrity.

In the end, this will determine whether or not people take that government seriously.

Tshwane should be commended for taking a stand against dishonesty, but this should just be the beginning. If and when more officials are found to have done “an Aucamp”, they should be punished - and hard - for the sake of the citizenry and good governance.

Investigations such as that involving Aucamp and the subsequent release of the report demonstrate that the government is serious about rooting our corruption.

Mudzuli is Pretoria News assistant editor. He writes in a personal capacity.