The Democratic Alliance will contest the unlawful appointments of senior managers by the Kouga mayoral committee.
The Municipal Systems Act is clear that the appointments of Section 56 and 57 managers (senior officials) must be approved by a “municipal council” and not by a mayoral committee – as has been the case in Kouga Municipality.
Furthermore, the Municipal Manager has the final signature for letters of appointment for people who will be directly accountable to him as the accounting officer.
In this case, it was in fact the Kouga mayor, Cllr Booi Koerat, who unlawfully signed the letters of appointment. The letters were forwarded to the “successful applicants” on Friday 18 June 2012.
No official council meeting was held to approve these appointments, nor did the Municipal Manager sign these letters.
As a first measure, an urgent letter has been dispatched to Local government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane, in which these unlawful appointments were highlighted.
If the MEC fails to act, the DA is prepared to invoke an urgent interdict to stop the appointment process.
The DA met the MEC at his office in Bhisho to explicitly discuss the poor administration and dire financial situation of Kouga Municipality on 4 May 2012. Now the time has come for Mr Qoboshiyane to show whether he is committed to the rule of law by acting on these appointments within 48 hours.
“The MEC must also take into account the possibility that false expectations were created by these illegal letters of appointment issued by the Kouga mayor on Friday,” said Elza Van Lingen, the leader of the DA in Kouga. “A reversal of this decision may lead to the candidates losing their jobs. This may lead to fruitless and wasteful expenditure for which we will hold the Kouga mayoral committee jointly accountable”.