James Masango MPL
Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
The ANC has forsaken residents of the Dr JS Moroka local municipality to cover for the sins of one of their own, when it had to fork out yet more money to prevent its assets from being attached in the on-going saga of former municipal manager and sexual harassment offender, Mr George Mthimunye.
On Wednesday last week the Sherriff of the Court threatened to attach the municipality’s assets after failing to pay R494 000 to Ms Esther Mahlangu-Mathibela, who recently won a sexual harassment case against Mthimunye. It is understood that yet again the municipality had no choice but to pay.
The DA is highly concerned that a municipality would sacrifice funds earmarked for service delivery to pay the legal costs of one of its own former officials, when the matter in question is that of an individual’s behaviour in a work environment. Furthermore, why did the Dr JS Moroka municipality not distance itself from Mthimunye and his actions, instead of choosing to look after him?
What is clear is that the ruling ANC would not hesitate to look after its own, irrespective of the consequences for hundreds of thousands of residents, desperately crying out for the most basic of services.
The DA believes that the municipality’s decision is in direct contravention of legislation, and that the R1,03 million paid on Mthimunye’s behalf should be recovered. Furthermore, the decision would have had to have been ratified by a council resolution, and if the Mthimunye can’t repay the debt, all councillors who originally agreed, should be held liable.
To this end the DA will submit formal parliamentary questions to the cooperative governance MEC Madala Masuku, requesting him to provide record of the council resolution, as well as to explain why he has not provided any direction in this matter since the first time the municipality’s assets were first attached in January 2012.
MEC Masuku needs to explain to the people of Dr JS Moroka why the ruling ANC diverts service delivery funds to serve its own needs.