The Guard

The Truth On Board

MAP council whip receives letter of demand

By Emily Setona

QWAQWA – Former Maluti-A-phofung (MAP) local municipality municipal manager Futhuli Mothamaha, who has been acquitted of fraud charges, is threatening legal action and questioning why the municipality did not hire him after an interview.

Mothamaha’s term as municipal manager of MAP was nearing its expiry date when he was arrested in August 2022 on charges of defrauding the municipality of R58 million when he signed a contract for Kill Crime security service. He was released on bail of R500 000.

Mothamaha did not waste any time as a day after his acquittal alongside Kill Crime directors Thabiso Skhosana and Dimakatso, he sent a letter to the MAP council informing them of his intention.
Moeketsi Lebesa received the letter served by the sheriff of the court on behalf of the municipality, minutes before the council’s sitting on Tuesday to discuss the issue of the acting MM.

The letter addressed to the council was handed to council chief whip Lebesa while he was at the Phuthaditjaba multi-purpose hall waiting for the council sitting to start.
“The letter is addressed to the municipality, and it comes from the former MM Tseko Mothamaha. Its contents state that he will be taking legal action against the municipality, because he is questioning why the council did not hire him because he was the best candidate for the job,” Lebesa said after receipt of the letter.
A DA councillor who was seated next to Lebesa when he was served with the letter said the following.

“The letter was addressed to the whole of council, but it was not given to every single councillor. The letter was from the ex-MM Mothamaha. His contract has expired but he did reapply and there were faults in the process of conducting interviews; that is why the council has set aside the results of those interviews. I only saw the front page of the letter and I would guess that its contents had something to do with that.”

According to Lebesa the process of hiring the MM was nullified because of claims the panel did not follow proper procedures during the hiring. Council is given 60 days to fill the position of MM, but the MAP council was already more or less 140 days outside of the legal timeframe, therefore a decision was taken to re-advertise the position.

“In my opinion Mothamaha is acting within his legal rights to want to take the municipality to court, but he needs to be informed that the process of hiring was nullified because of the incompetence of the panel that was conducting the interviews,” Lebesa said in an interview with The Guard.

To hedge against the issue of compliance and transparency and to create a competitive and fair process, the chief whip advises that the current panel should recuse itself from the process of hiring a new MM.