Charge me over misconduct allegations, acting Tshwane city manager tells municipal bosses

29 August 2019 - 22:02 By Aphiwe Deklerk
Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa, who withdrew the invitation to the city's chief operating officer James Murphy to act as city manager after hearing he had been implicated in an alleged R5m embezzlement.
Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa, who withdrew the invitation to the city's chief operating officer James Murphy to act as city manager after hearing he had been implicated in an alleged R5m embezzlement.
Image: DA

Tshwane chief operating officer James Murphy has withdrawn his name for consideration as acting city manager, and has dared the municipality to charge him over allegations of previous financial misconduct.

Murphy was appointed acting city manager at a council sitting last month as the replacement to embattled municipal manager Moeketsi Mosola, who has taken leave of absence while the city discusses his exit.

But in a letter to council speaker Katlego Mathebe, dated August 29, Murphy urged the city to rather haul him through a disciplinary hearing so he can clear his name once and for all.

Murphy was first invited by mayor Stevens Mokgalapa to act as city manager in Mosola's absence.

But the mayor did a u-turn a few days later, saying Murphy had been implicated in a report over embezzlement of a R5m donation to NGOs during the previous administration and was therefore no longer suitable to act in the position.

The donation issue was flagged in a report by the office of the auditor-general.

Mokgalapa's office has welcomed his decision to request that he no longer be considered for the acting municipal manager post.

But Murphy has now dared Tshwane to charge him over the donation scandal as he's eager to clear his name.

"I am  requesting the City of Tshwane to start a disciplinary process regarding the alleged financial misconduct to [establish] guilt or clear my name. This will allow me an opportunity to explain myself to the appointed financial disciplinary board," reads Murphy’s letter.

He said municipal financial laws require that relevant steps be taken on such serious matters. 

"I cannot act as city manager of Tshwane until my name is cleared from the alleged financial misconduct. I have not requested for my name to be nominated and am still not requesting for my name to be included in the nominations.

"However, as a public servant, I will reconsider any nomination to serve or perform public duty after my name is cleared," he said.

Mokgalapa's spokesperson, Omogolo Taunyane, said they also welcomed this suggestion.

Murphy's letter comes after the Speaker wrote to the mayor's office earlier this month asking for evidence to back up allegations that Murphy was involved in alleged financial misconduct.

Murphy's letter comes on the same day as council was expected to discuss the impasse over his role in the administration.


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