Nelson Mandela Bay under fire for employment tactics
Key health post vacant for more than year in NMB metro
A fight over a senior position in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro council in the Eastern Cape is threatening to derail services in the crucial public health department.
The executive director of the public health department position has been vacant for over a year. Former director Andile Tolom in 2016 asked for a demotion citing health reasons.
But filling this position has been halted and the municipality may face legal action for failing to appoint one of the candidates who were shortlisted for the position.
In July 2017 the municipality began processes to fill the position and two candidates were shortlisted. The selection panel recommended Nokuthula Mgijima and Sizwe Mvunelwa for the position.
A report – seen by Times Select – by the city manager to council states that: “The [competency assessment] results indicate that both candidates may be employed, with SL Mvunelwa meeting all the requirements and Ms N Mgijima meeting some.”
Times Select understands that Mgijima was offered the position but she rejected it.Now the post is subject of a legal tussle after Mvunelwa’s lawyers last month sent the municipality a scathing letter asking why he wasn’t appointed to the post after Mgijima rejected it.
“Our client is of the view that if he was the alternate person [to Ms Mgijima] to be considered from the selection process for the position of Executive Director: Public Health, then he has a legitimate expectation to be made an offer for such position, now that she has turned down such an offer,” the letter from Justin Powers and Neville Borman & Botha Attorneys reads.
Municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki declined commenting on the matter, saying it might have legal implications.
“This issue is now a legal matter. The municipality’s legal services has advised that we do not comment on the details of the matter. The municipality has received, acknowledged and responded to the correspondence. The matter is still ongoing,” Mniki said.
In the letter, the lawyers raise concern over the fact that Mvunelwa was not made aware of the outcomes of the selection processes.
“It is of great concern to our client that not only has he not been advised of the outcome of the selection process and further not been made an offer for such post [now that it has been turned down by Ms Mgijima], but on Sunday, 25 March 2018 an advert appeared in the newspaper re-advertising this same post with a new closing date on 10 April 2018,” part of the letter reads.
The lawyers further requested a dossier of documents from the municipality including the rejection of the employment offer by Mgijima, council minutes recording the valid, rational and justified reasons for not appointing Mvunelwa to the position and council minutes recording the resolution of re-advertising of among other things.
Drama is not new in this department. Deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani, the former mayoral committee member heading the public health portfolio, was last year booted out after a protracted feud with Mayor Athol Trollip. Bobani was recalled after Trollip cited allegations of maladministration in the public health directorate.