Last week, the ANC in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality, with support from the EFF, suspended the disciplinary proceedings against the Municipal Manager (MM), Shirley Lesupi, who was facing several charges regarding her alleged involvement in the awarding of dubious tender contracts.
The decision by the ANC and EFF undermines a resolution that was unanimously adopted by Council on 12 February 2021 to suspend the MM and institute disciplinary proceedings against her.
Following Ms Lesupi’s suspension, Melvin Rampedi was appointed as the Acting MM. The suspended MM continues to receive her full salary which has cost the district at least R511 000 to date.
The district appointed a legal team to handle the disciplinary case, a team that included an attorney, an advocate and a forensic consultant. The legal team’s costs amount to more than R1.4 million.
Instead of continuing with the disciplinary proceedings, the ANC has instead agreed to a settlement and will pay her six month’s salary which will cost an additional R814 000.
The decision to suspend the disciplinary proceedings was made against the district’s legal team’s advice, who assured us that they had gathered enough evidence to ensure that the district wins the case.
By stopping the disciplinary proceedings, the ANC is disregarding a Council resolution and failing to implement consequence management against alleged corruption.
The ANC is setting a dangerous precedence where instead of holding officials accountable they are rewarded with a golden handshake.
The Executive Mayor, Barei Elizabeth Mosiane-Segotso, failed to answer questions or show any leadership on this matter.
The settlement agreement, legal team fees and the money spent towards the Acting MM which amounts to R2.8 million, will be regarded as a fruitless and wasteful expenditure by the Auditor-General.
This money could have been redirected towards service delivery such as water services and infrastructure improvement.