Tshwane mayoral spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi. Facebook
THE PLAN by City Manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola to fire Executive Mayor Solly Msimanga’s spokesperson might be at odds with his contractual agreement with the City of Tshwane.

Lawyers of spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi have suggested in a letter dated December 3, 2018, that Mosola’s intention might be at variance with the Labour Relations Act.

In November, Mosola requested Mgobozi to provide him with reasons why he should not be fired, following the audit report that found he lacked the 12 years’ experience required for his job.

The audit unveiled that five years of the 12 years were required to be in a senior managerial position, but Mgobozi only had two years’ experience at the time of appointment.

Mgobozi’s lawyers criticised Mosola for wanting to use their client as a scapegoat for the wrongs that might have been committed by the City.

Mgobozi was appointed in 2016 to the position of executive head of mayoral public affairs and media relations.

In terms of the staffing policy “the appointment requirements can only be waived in accordance with agreed criteria, and or when allowed by national legislation and the waiver is subject to approval by the city manager and his or her nominee”, according to Mosola.

He said there was no evidence found that “the city manager approved a waiver of the minimum requirements of experience for the position”.

In response, Mgobozi’s lawyers said: “Insofar as you allege certain waivers had to be obtained, our client cannot be held responsible for your office not complying with its obligations with regards to its employment policies.”

They further noted that Mgobozi was “perturbed by the request for reasons following the allegations in your letter as our client has no hand in any of the allegations”.

“Our client was a successful candidate, that participated in the normal application process, (and) was subjected to a selection panel interview as was (sic) the other candidates, duly constituted by the city and ultimately offered the position,” they wrote.

They said it was unclear under which circumstances Mosola wanted Mgobozi to respond, suggesting his request was not in accordance with the Labour Relations Act.

The act stipulates that the employer will be entitled to terminate the employee’s employment contract for any sufficient reason recognised by law, provided that the employer must comply with its disciplinary codes and procedures. “You are bound to follow the prescripts of our client’s contract with the city, labour legislation and the collective agreement to which the City is subject to. Your failure to do so may very well be construed as a repudiation of our client’s contract,” they said.