Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa. FILE PHOTO: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency(ANA)
Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa. FILE PHOTO: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency(ANA)

Tshwane official not qualified for top job in emergency services

By Kennedy Mudzuli Time of article published Sep 18, 2019

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Pretoria - The City of Tshwane misled the public when it declared on Monday that its emergency services chief Previn Govender met the requirements for the position.

The City had said that based on all the investigations done and enquiries made, Govender possessed the required qualifications for the position and that it considered the matter closed.

Govender is under police investigation for allegedly falsifying his qualifications when he applied for the top job.

He has been on leave since last week in what was believed to be a ploy to avoid having his arrest come in front of his colleagues. According to police sources, a warrant for his arrest was issued last week. However, this could not be verified independently by last night.

The Pretoria News can confirm that when he applied for the job, Govender mentioned a qualification he did not possess.

The requirements for the job were a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification, and 12 years’ experience, of which five years must be at senior managerial level.

Govender was head of Fire Services and Disaster Management in Worcester between 2004 and 2014 and divisional chief in Ekurhuleni before getting the Tshwane job in August 2017 - and thus met half of the requirements.

But Govender wrote on his CV when he applied for the job that he had an NQF Level 7 qualification, an equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree. He also wrote on the City’s application form that his highest NQF Level qualification was 7. This constituted a misrepresentation.

It has since emerged that he possessed an NQF Level 6 - a national diploma or Advanced Diploma - and would not have been shortlisted for the job had his application reflected this.

Similarly, former chief of staff in the office of the executive mayor Marietha Aucamp’s CV indicated she had a matric certificate, but when she underwent a competency assessment she wrote on the form that she had a BTech degree.

A forensic investigation conducted by the City’s Risk and Audit Department, headed by the current acting city manager Moeketsi Ntsimane found that Aucamp’s declaration that she possessed a BTech degree on the competency assessment form was a misrepresentation of her qualifications.

In justifying Govender's appointment, the City said its recruitment officers deemed the qualification that he held “equivalent” to a Bachelor’s degree as he had more than 12 years’ experience in senior management.

In so doing, the City broke its own requirements as listed in the advertisement for the job and literally gave itself the power to convert experience, plus an alternative qualification, into a degree.

About a week ago, Executive Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa pronounced that he had satisfied himself that Govender possessed the relevant qualification.

Both the City administration and the political executive went against the authority of the institution that awarded Govender the qualification - the South African Emergency Services Institute - by declaring that his qualification was equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree.

They also negated an affidavit deposed by the institute in which it said Govender’s qualification was not a degree or an equivalent.

Pretoria News

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