Mayor, city manager in jobs-for-pals allegations in Mangaung

Sello More. | Supplied

Sello More. | Supplied

Published Mar 28, 2024


Mangaung mayor Gregory Nthatisi and the municipal manager Sello More are accused of facilitating a “jobs for friends” syndicate in Mangaung.

This following an an expose by community activist Zwelakhe Msabe who took to social media to lambaste the mayor and city manager over irregular appointments and bloating staff as favours for political associates.

These allegations have now prompted an investigation into ghost workers and the jobs-for-friends syndicate. The hawks are particularly investigating More.

He is not new to controversy. In a judgment handed down on December 15 2021, Judge AJ van Rhyn found that More’s appointment as the man in charge of the Metro, was null and void since October 30, 2021, because the municipality failed to act in accordance with legal prescripts when appointing him.

More, despite the judgment, had remained the acting city manager and had entered into numerous contracts on behalf of the municipality.

The then Municipal Council ordered More to vacate his position and report to his previous position as the HOD of its fleet and waste management division.

The court also found that More had no mandate to institute the proceedings that served before Judge van Rhyn and in an unprecedented step, ordered More to file an affidavit to show good cause why he shouldn’t be ordered to pay costs in his personal capacity.

In a strange turn of events, More returned as municipal manager.

According to documents seen by The Star senior HR officer, Adri Grobler wrote against the positions requested by the Speaker of Council that could not be implemented as the proposed positions do not occur on the staff establishment anymore. The Office of the Executive Mayor (OEM) was then bloated with positions. The OEM has a chief of staff, senior admin officer, PA to EM and 6 VIP bodyguards.

This was against the proclamation by the department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs which instructed the country’s 257 municipalities not to pay for more than two bodyguards for mayors and speakers of their councils.

There was no security threat and no security audit to approve the appointment of so many bodyguards.

Nthatisi, also benefited a special programmes co-ordinator, data and information officer and a tea maker to his office.

The acting city manager did not approve Nthatisi’s request. The request was approved by Advocate Nkateko Mpangane, acting head of corporate services because the acting city manager “had a very important doctor’s consultation”. Effectively, Mpangane acted in both capacities, that’s of ACM (acting city manager) and that head of corporate services.

On December 21, 2023, HOD of public safety submitted a request to city manager for the employment of the manager: administration (executive support) that was to commence on January 1, 2024, and end on March 31, 2024. HOD of corporate services recommended for the approval by city on the same Day (21/12/2023), which was approved a day later by the city manager.

According to a source within the mayors office, the rot got deeper when an ANC Youth League chairperson in the Mangaung region who was just a general worker, was parachuted to the position of PA, earning R76 000 more in salary.

Furthermore, the source said it was evident that the appointment was part of the “jobs for pals” syndicate.

The Star has received a myriad of documents linking the municipality’s appointment process to corruption and tender irregularities. This is a developing story.

The mayor and the municipal manager were still not available for comment at the time of publication.

The Star

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