The current Municipal Manager of Bitou Municipality (Plettenberg Bay) has been accepted as Municipal Manager of Sundays River Municipality despite being found guilty of financial misconduct.
The incumbent, Lonwabo Ngoqo has been found guilty on four of seven financial misconduct charges brought against him in 2011. Despite a less than favourable financial situation at Sunday’s River Municipality, Ngoqo has requested in his letter of acceptance that the offered salary of R850 000.00 be adjusted by R100 000.00 to R950 000.00.
I have requested the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs Mlibo Qoboshiyane to reverse or stay this appointment on legal and moral grounds.
Mr Ngoqo has not yet resigned from the Bitou Municipality yet is appointed to commence work at Sundays River Municipality on 1 February 2012.
The sanction against Mr Ngoqo is still awaited and my colleague in parliament is obtaining details of the sanction before the employment of Mr Ngoqo takes effect on 1st February.
Should the sanction against Mr Ngoqo be one of dismissal from Bitou Municipality, then in terms of section 57 A sub paragraph (1), a staff member dismissed for misconduct may only be re-employed by a municipality after the expiry of a prescribed period.
Therefore, what happens if Mr Ngoqo is already in the employ of Sundays River Municipality at this time?
A letter in my possession from the Acting Municipal Manager of Sundays River dated 23 January 2012 and addressed to the MEC, states that Mr Ngoqo was excluded from the original six successful candidates because “based on reports from newspapers he was under investigation”.
However, the Acting Municipal Manager, who wrote the letter, lied to the MEC by not informing him in the letter that indeed Ngoqo had already been found guilty of misconduct!
There is a lack of moral ethics when Sundays River Municipality employ municipal managers.
For a second time, the Sundays River Municipality sees fit to appoint a second municipal manager found guilty of misconduct.
Previously former Sundays River Municipal Manager Speech Sohena was employed at Sundays River having been found guilty of 11 charges of inter alia gross financial mismanagement.
The cavalier manner in which such important appointments are being made in this province is shameful.
If the MEC condones this appointment, then he must be held responsible for any actions that may arise in supporting this questionable and unethical appointment.
Dacre Haddon, MPL