Marietha Aucamp. File picture: ANA
THE SACP in Tshwane has called for mayor Solly Msimanga to institute an independent inquiry into the alleged irregularities related to the appointment of his former chief of staff Marietha Aucamp.

At the same time, the City announced the extension period to complete its internal investigation into the matter.

SACP regional secretary Apson Makaung said that by appointing an independent commission, Msimanga would be demonstrating his seriousness about getting to the bottom of the controversy.

Aucamp resigned last week after it emerged she only had a matric certificate, while a tertiary qualification was a prerequisite for the job. It remains unknown who leaked the information to the media.

She had been employed in 2016 with an annual salary package of R1.2million. After employing her, the City failed to apply for a waiver giving her an opportunity to acquire the qualification within a stipulated period.

Makaung said part of the mandate of the commission had to be to conduct a skills audit of all employees in the municipality. “If he (Msimanga) is really genuine, he must prove (this) by appointing an independent auditor to conduct skills and audit of the entire workforce of the City with immediate effect.”

However, Msimanga's spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi said the City at this stage had the capacity to conduct such an audit and had not sourced the services of an external provider.

“The audit will be carried out by the City's Group Human Capital Management and the Office of the Governance and Support Officer. The audit will inform us whether candidates comply with the academic, experimental, policy and statutory requirements of the position they occupy.

“If a candidate does not comply with these requirements, we should know whether a lawful provision has been included in his or her employment contract to obtain the necessary qualification within a specified period,” he said.

Mgobozi said the City would take immediate remedial action against incumbents who fall short of the requirements of legislation, policy and contractual obligations.

Makaung said the deliberation regarding Aucamp's appointment took place during the SACP meeting on May 20. “We have noted the shameful appointment of Aucamp as the chief of staff in the office of the mayor.

“She confessed she doesn't have the required qualifications as a reason for her resignation. We thank her for realising that lies have short legs. We also noted the call by the executive mayor that the audit will be done for all senior staff in the City,” he said.

Msimanga must know that the work of the City was not the sole responsibility of senior managers, but the entire workforce, he said.

“We therefore demand that skills and qualifications of all employees in the City be audited with immediate effect.”

Makaung also lashed out at the former ANC administration for failing to implement a skills audit proposed by his party since 2012. “People who are blaming Msimanga for Aucamp's appointment are equally to blame,” he said.

City spokesperson Selby Bokaba said: “Following reports of alleged irregularities in the appointment of Aucamp, the City Manager, Dr Moeketsi Mosola, at the behest of the executive mayor, requested the City’s chief audit executive to expeditiously conduct an in-depth investigation surrounding Aucamp's appointment.”

He said the investigative team immediately knuckled down to work and on Tuesday briefed Mosola on the progress of the investigation.

“The team requested an extension period to complete the investigation in view of the ground that must still be covered. In the interest of a thorough investigation, Mosola deemed it fair and reasonable to accede to the extension request.

“In our endeavours to protect the integrity of the investigation and in the interests of all involved, we will await the completion of the investigation before making the findings public,” Bokaba said.