Officials accused of bias

CORRUPTION has taken centre stage at the Mutale municipality outside Thohoyandou.

This follows allegations that councillors were employing their friends and relatives in posts that were meant to benefit the community.

At the centre of the row are allegations that the 18 posts meant for the youth in the area who should become safety and security ambassadors had been given to relatives and friends of councillors in the municipality.

The successful candidates will be placed under the Extended Public Works Programme of the department and will receive a monthly stipend and trained on public safety programmes and the 2010 steward programme.

But the councillors allegedly went overboard and assisted their relatives and friends, overlooking members of the community.

The community has claimed the municipality had kept the advertisement under wraps.

Thongwe Civic Organisation chairperson Sonnyboy Ndou said yesterday they were not happy with the manner in which the matter had been handled by the municipality and they wanted the recruitment to be reversed.

He said no invitations for applications were allowed and no short-listing was done.

"When we visited the municipality on Monday we met the acting mayor Donald Nekhunguni who said he was not informed about the matter," said Ndou.

"He only told us a meeting was held between the municipal manager and ward councillors about the recruitment."

A number of councillors declined to comment. Municipal spokesperson Ishmael Ravhura said allegations that friends and relatives were employed were new to him.

But he confirmed that municipal manager Godfrey Netshandze had convened a meeting with ward councillors and asked them to recruit youths for the posts.

"But I'm not sure what happened with the selection process thereafter," said Ravhura.

The provincial department could not be reached for comment.