Msimanga did not apply his mind to the appointment of Aucamp - Public Protector

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found that former Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga failed to apply his mind in the appointment of Marietha Aucamp, the City’s chief of staff, whose appointment was irregular.

In her report, released on Friday, Mkhwebane said Aucamp's appointment was irregular. She added that Msimanga should have reasonably known that Aucamp did not have a post-matric qualification.

"He should have obtained legal advice from his officials on the appropriate way to appoint staff in his office," Mkhwebane said.

READ: City of Tshwane chief of staff Marietha Aucamp resigns

"Instead, he allowed the officials to follow the normal recruitment and selection process, including placing educational requirements and experience that Ms Aucamp did not possess, therefore prejudicing other candidates who were best qualified for the position."

Mkhwebane also found the appointment of mayoral spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi and executive head Stefan de Villiers to be irregular.

She did not recommend remedial action on the appointment of Mgobozi and De Villiers, as the City of Tshwane had already taken steps to reverse the irregular appointments.

This was also the case with Aucamp, who resigned in 2018.

News24 previously reported that Aucamp had resigned at the behest of Msimanga. The mayor said that revelations and prima facie evidence had come to the fore, leaving him no option but to ask Aucamp to step down.

READ: Prima facie evidence against City of Tshwane chief of staff, says Msimanga

At the time, Msimanga wrote to the city manager to institute an audit of qualifications for all officials in the City who held management positions.

Mkhwebane added that the City had failed to implement adequate record management controls and that human resources had failed to provide proper guidance and advice to the City regarding the suitability and appointment of Aucamp, Mgobozi and De Villiers.

In her recommendations, the Public Protector recommended that a policy be developed to regulate the appointment of staff in the private offices of the executive mayor, and also that disciplinary action be taken against implicated officials who flouted, subverted or violated the City’s staffing policy.

Misleading the public

Mkhwebane also addressed a second complaint against Msimanga that he misled the public by making pronouncements on banning the use of blue lights in the city, the utilisation of a fleet of BMWs by members of the mayoral committee, and the reconstitution of the mayoral committee.

She found that all these allegations were unsubstantiated.