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‘Brink didn’t even qualify’ DA slams Makhubele on City of Joburg purge row

Speaker of Johannesburg, councillor Colleen Makhubele and the DA are at loggerheads over the city manager position.
Speaker of Johannesburg, councillor Colleen Makhubele and the DA are at loggerheads over the city manager position.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

The squabble between the former City of Johannesburg (CoJ) mayor Mpho Phalatse, and speaker Colleen Makhubele over allegations of purging of employees at the entity continues.

The back-and-forth comes after Makhubele tabled a recommendation that Phalatse be investigated as a result of how she handled the special leave of then-acting city manager, Floyd Brink last year.

Over the weekend the DA responded to the allegations of its representatives in CoJ purging employees who do not align with their interests.

“During the recruitment of a city manager, as approved by council, the panel was apprised that Brink did not meet the minimum requirements of the job specifications, as advertised on August 12 2022 which mandated 10 years senior management experience. In this sense a senior manager as per Cogta regulations,” said the DA. 

“Brink only had four years experience, as COO within the City of Johannesburg. While his CV listed his status as a “senior manager” for a variety of positions in Limpopo, it was discovered that these did not equate to the same level as per Cogta requirements and he should not have qualified for the COO position in the first place,” said the DA.

However, an unsigned mayoral committee recruitment and appointment document for the position, suggested Brink was shortlisted as a second-ranked candidate for the position on the basis of his qualifications and having over 17-years work experience, 14 of which are at senior management level.

Explaining why the appointment report was not signed by the mayor, Nthatisi Modingoane — the CoJ spokesperson said: “The report was not signed because it was tabled as urgent on the day of council.

“Before it could be signed, it was withdrawn after the allegations that the former mayor (Phalatse) had a secret meeting with the first recommended candidate (Johann Mettler). This is because ActionSA had issued a statement indicating that it was not going to support the appointment of Mettler. The records and minutes of the interview panel is available to back up the contents of the report.” 

According to the Municipal System Act “senior management level” means a management level associated with people in senior management positions responsible for supervising staff in middle management positions, and includes:

(a) the municipal manager of a municipality or the CEO of a municipal entity;

(b) any manager directly accountable to (i) the municipal manager, in the case of a municipality; (ii) the CEO, in the case of a municipality; or

(c) a person that occupied a position at a management level substantially similar to senior management level, outside the local government sphere;

TimesLIVE understands Brink held a director position for three years in Limpopo and then chief director for seven years before he served at CoJ. He served four years as COO at the CoJ. 

Brink said the DA was trying to further implicate him in something he was already exonerated from.

During the recruitment process for city manager, Brink had became the second-ranked candidate, pending a decision on whether the investigation report by ENSafrica into his involvement in allegations of misconduct related to procurement deals worth R320m had substance.

This investigation was the basis of him not being chosen for the position at the time.

Meanwhile, Mettler was considered for the position but he was made the City of Tshwane’s manager around the same period.

A report by MJS Incorporated that cleared Brink of wrongdoing was released in August 2022.

With the alleged infighting, Phalatse is said to have moved for re-advertisement of the position and Bryne Maduka was appointed as the acting city manager. 

“The speaker flat out refused to allow the tabling of the city manager appointment report (recommending Maduka) on the basis of a complaint submitted by Brink, as the original complaint had since been ruled null and void via the court judgment in Gen Shadrack Sibiya’s favour,” said the DA. 

Makhubele has made a recommendation that Phalatse should be investigated for her involvement in what they deem sabotage. She also recommended the re-advertisement be rescinded and Brink appointed.

Brink earlier told SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE he felt vindicated by the MJS report.

“I feel vindicated, maybe she [Phalatse] was surrounded by people who ill-advised her. This process started last December and I formally advised her that what she was doing is illegal and irregular. It was investigation after investigation,” said Brink.

TimesLIVE


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