16 May 2018

South Africa: Tshwane Mayor Hired Chief of Staff Without Required Qualifications

Marietha Aucamp, the chief of staff for the mayor of Tshwane landed the R1.2m per year job despite not having the required qualifications.

News24 has established that Mayor Solly Msimanga was part of the interview panel.

The City of Tshwane's failure to apply for a waiver for Aucamp is in contravention of the Local Government Act, which demands that municipalities apply for a waiver from the minister of cooperative governance if a potential employee does not have suitable qualifications.

The job advert required that the candidates have a bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification.

Aucamp claims that she applied for the job anyway because of the waiver provision.

Msimanga's office has admitted that there was no waiver when she was appointed group head of the office of the executive mayor of Tshwane.

When News24 sent a series of questions to him, the Tshwane mayor's response, through his spokesperson, was that he played no role in the recruitment process.

Brief CV

"The executive mayor was never and has never been involved in the recruitment process of any senior manager outside of the accounting officer, which is the city manager," spokesperson Sam Mgobozi said in answer to News24.

However, News24 is in possession of a report that indicates Msimanga was part of the interview panel alongside member of the mayoral committee Cilliers Brink and then acting city manager Lindiwe Kwele.

According to the report, dated October 24, 2016, Msimanga scored Aucamp 23, Brink gave her 24 while Kwele scored her lowest at 17.

Aucamp, in a scant page-and-a-half CV, does not state her qualifications. She only states that she was acting chief of staff in Msimanga's office and that she previously worked as the chief whip of the Democratic Alliance in the Tshwane metro.

Her references include the DA's federal chairperson James Selfe.

In what is referred to as the "assessment centre personal information sheet", dated October 10, 2016, it is stated that Aucamp has a B-Tech. It is unclear who filled out this form but when asked, Aucamp could not explain to News24 why that was included on the sheet.

"I have as per my application only provided my highest acknowledged qualifications as was submitted to HR on the request of the city manager. I have not lied. I have not pretend [sic] to have a B Tech qualification because it is simply untrue," Aucamp said.

Msimanga 'deeply concerned'

In another letter seen by News24 dated February 9, 2018, city manager Moeketsi Mosola demands that Aucamp submit her academic qualifications as she had failed to do so. This is more than a year after she was employed at a salary of R1 219 663 per annum.

"Given that you have been in the employment of the City since 1 November 2016, I am now giving you seven days to submit your qualification documents to my office for the purpose of verification and auditing.

"Your cooperation in this matter is critical and urgent," Mosola states in the letter.

News24 understands that the City was under pressure from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to comply. Aucamp responded but only submitted her matric certificate.

Msimanga said he was deeply concerned by suggestions that Aucamp may have fabricated her qualifications to the officials facilitating her recruitment at the time and referred the matter to the city manager.

"The executive mayor would like to place on record that should these allegations turn out to be true he will be deeply disappointed because the fabrication of qualifications is fraudulent and he would've been deliberately misled," Mgobozi said.

News24 understands that Aucamp was part of Msimanga's campaign to be elected mayor of the City during the 2016 municipal elections.

News24

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