The Guard

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Suspension of CFO was irrational – Council

By Masilo Malakwane

QWA QWA – The suspension of Maluti-a-Phofung chief financial officer (CFO) Jeminah Mazinyo was irrational, says the Council after it determined she was improperly suspended.

Mazinyo was placed on suspension from the municipality in October last year after she acted on an instruction not to pay salaries of councillors who failed to return the tools of their trade ahead of last year’s local government elections.

This follows a proposal made by the Executive Mayor Gilbert Mokotso during a Council sitting last month, that Mazinyo be reinstated as of April 1 2022.

Mokotso told the media this week that the CFO took the municipality to the CCMA after she was suspended last year.

“We have conducted our own investigation and found that there were no grounds for her suspension. We don’t want to defend a case that we know exactly that we are not going to win in court,” Mokotso said.

His sentiments were echoed by the chairperson of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee, EFF Cllr Chikota Mkhwanazi, who stated that there was still no clear explanation nor justification for Mazinyo’s suspension as that decision was not taken by the council but the Municipal Manager.

However, expelled MMC for Local Economic Development, AULA-  Lebohang Rapuleng argues that the details surrounding the suspension of the CFO lacked transparency. He claimed that Mazinyo’s suspension was politically motivated.

“There was a lot of political interference in this matter,” said Rapuleng.

Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality Executive Mayor Gilbert Mokotso.

It’s still not clear whether Mazinyo will withdraw the case against Maluti-a-Phofung or not. She directed all media queries to her labour representative, SAMWU.

However, SAMWU chairperson in the Free State, Tseko Mokoena, told The Guard that they welcome the council’s decision to reinstate Mazinyo, but the municipality should pay the legal costs.

“Mazinyo did nothing wrong as she acted under the direct instruction of the Municipal Manager, Tseko Mothamaha,” Mokoena emphasized.