Werner le Grange
DA Chief Whip – Mbombela local municipality
By failing to suspend or fire Mpumalanga’s capital city manager, Noko Seanego, after he was arrested and charged with fraud and corruption, the ANC has once again proven that it applies double standards when dealing with issues of clean governance.
When Seanego was appointed as municipal manager of Mbombela in December last year, he voluntarily signed a contract that demanded an automatic resignation letter should he ever be implicated in any irregular activities. But this week, Mbombela’s executive mayor, Cllr Sibusiso Mathonsi, refused to take action against Seanego.
Seanego was arrested on Friday in connection with the allegations of a “job for ANC-cadres scandal”. He is accused of failing to follow proper procedures when employing by-law enforcement officials for the municipality. He allegedly imposed 24 ANC cadres from Ehlanzeni District on an interviewing panel, some of whom had criminal records. This after council initially approved and advertised for only 16 posts in August last year when Seanego held the position of corporate services general manager.
The DA believes that if the mayor and the ANC were serious about dealing with corruption, they should have suspended Seanego by now as per his contract.
Seanego appeared briefly in the Nelspruit Magistrate Court last Friday on the charges of fraud and corruption. He is out on R2000 bail until February 19.
This week, media reports quoted Mayor Mathonsi as saying that; “For now we are not going to make his pre-signed resignation letter effective because a court decision might say something else,”.
Retaining him as manager of the municipality is a disgrace, and flies in the face of the ANC’s commitment to fighting corruption.
The DA wants the mayor and council to save the integrity of Mbombela municipality by suspending Seanego from work immediately, pending the outcome of all investigations against him.
The DA also demand that the appointment of these 24 officials be withdrawn and that the process start afresh, so as to appoint suitably qualified officials as by-law enforcement officials. The municipality must uphold its municipal by-laws which state that people with criminal records cannot be appointed to the posts of law enforcement officers.
The growing trend of officials alienating those who are not supporting the ANC when opportunities of employment arise is extremely disturbing and makes a mockery of all efforts to create sustainable employment in Mpumalanga. Jobs should be given to people who are suitably skilled And qualified to do those jobs and not simply to ANC comrades. It is a shame that the much needed by-law enforcement unit now finds itself marred by this scandal.