Former DA mayor Bongani Baloyi says party 'interfered' in senior municipal staff appointments

A spotlight on some controversial appointments under DA leadership

23 February 2024 - 20:49
Former DA mayor  Bongani Baloyi believes the DA is just as guilty as the ANC when it comes to cadre deployment..
Image: MASI LOSI Former DA mayor Bongani Baloyi believes the DA is just as guilty as the ANC when it comes to cadre deployment..

Former Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi believes the DA is not innocent in the practice of cadre deployment in government, saying DA-run municipalities could not appoint senior management staff without the approval of the party's federal executive. 

Baloyi, now leader of the Xiluva Party, told TimesLIVE when he was DA mayor of Midvaal, from 2013-2021 he was required to submit a list of candidates for municipal heads of departments to the party's federal executive (fedex) before making any appointments.

These positions included city manager, CFO, COO, chief audit executive, chief of police (for metros), chief of emergency services and head of communications and marketing. These are administrative positions and not executive roles which are political appointments. 

“When there was a vacancy for heads of departments, the municipality would undertake its recruitment process but before finalising I would have to write to the provincial leader John Moodey with the list of candidates which he would table at fedex. This was the standard procedure of the party,” he said. 

Baloyi said the municipality could not appoint the candidates without endorsement from the DA's federal executive. Former DA Gauteng leader Moodey confirmed Baloyi's statements but declined to comment further on the matter. 

“This practice hasn’t changed in the DA. If they have nothing to hide, they must release minutes of fedex and you will see that they practised the same cadre deployment that the ANC practised. The interference in appointment of senior staff is the same as the ANC. I used the rule of law to protect professional staff whenever I felt the party was overwhelming administration authority, “Baloyi said.

Baloyi said some of the Tshwane metro appointments were examples of interference by federal executives in administration. He said in 2016 the DA federal executive blocked the appointment of Lindiwe Kwele as city manager of Tshwane though she aced the interview processes. 

The municipality restarted the process and appointed Moeketsi Mosola, who left the municipality after a scandal involving an alleged R12bn irregular tender granted to engineering consulting company GladAfrica. This was during Solly Msimanga's tenure as mayor.

Tshwane metro's chief of staff Marietha Aucamp resigned in 2018 after she was appointed to the top position without the necessary qualifications.

According to the public protector's report which probed irregular appointments in the Tshwane metro, Aucamp stated that she was never asked about her qualifications by the interview panel. Msimanga and then MMC for corporate and shared services Cilliers Brink, who is the current mayor, were part of the panel which interviewed her. 

The appointment of Msimanga's office executive head Stefan de Villiers, who scored the position without meeting the basic requirements and only had qualifications as a personal trainer, was also found to be irregular by a forensic probe.

“The executive mayor (Msimanga) and his panel did not apply their minds to these transgressions as they solely relied on the advice and information by [Gerald] Shingange, the senior HR official,” the public protector report on irregular appointments read. 

DA leader John Steenhuisen has refuted Baloyi's comments that the DA has practised cadre deployment. 

“The DA has never interfered in selecting municipal managers or senior municipal managers in any municipality ever. There are no minutes that would record that because those deliberations did never take place.

“The sole thing mayors were required to produce was to indicate the process that was followed. This was to precisely avoid a situation where a mayor or a potential coalition could end up with a Floyd Brink or someone like that being punted for a senior position and to make sure the processes followed were fair,” he said.