MUST READ: City of Joburg ombudsman suspended

 

The City of Johannesburg’s ombudsman, Advocate S’duduzo Gumede, has been suspended following a closed Council meeting on 9 May.

The ombudsman and a group executive director for Group Corporate and Shared Services were both suspended pending a full investigation after an alleged tip-off. This was confirmed to the Randburg Sun by sources within the City.

The nature of the tip-off involving the two municipal managers is not yet known.

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The African National Congress Joburg caucus spokesperson, Jolidee Matongo, who is also a councillor within the City of Johannesburg, said the party, along with the African Independent Congress (AIC) and the Patriotic Alliance, did not support Council’s recommendation that the officials’ response be rejected.

The party did, however, say it will not stand in the way of an investigation or disciplinary measures, as long as they are transparent and investigated independently.

The City’s secretary of Council has also been moved to the ombudsman’s office. Matongo said this was apparently due to ‘a breakdown in relations between him and the legislature’.

Reports have also surfaced about another senior official resigning with immediate effect.

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“We said in Council that we do not support the witch-hunt against senior managers appointed by the previous ANC administration,” Matongo said.

Asked if this was not an indication that these appointments were political, Matongo disagreed. “The positions were advertised in newspapers and a panel consisting of the City manager, the political head of the department and an independent expert [among others] made the decision. One can’t say it is a political appointment.”

The office of the Ombudsman has been approached for comment. The response will follow as soon as it becomes available.

 

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Chantelle Fourie

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