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The DA welcomes the directive issued by the Public Protector (PP), instructing the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) to investigate our complaint regarding the unlawful deployment of senior Patriotic Alliance (PA) members in high-paying positions within the city. We have lodged complaints about both ANC and PA cadres in the City of Johannesburg as we are of the strong view that the interests of the ANC and PA align.
The DA exposed the PA's manipulation of power through illegal appointments, costing Johannesburg taxpayers millions of rands annually. We called for accountability and transparency in governance, emphasizing our commitment to upholding the principles of good governance and the interests of the citizens of Johannesburg.
Today, we are pleased to announce that the Public Protector has taken our concerns seriously. The directive from the PP makes it clear that the CoJ must investigate the unlawful employment of PA members, including Mr. Charles Cilliers, who held two political offices in the PA while being employed in the municipal administration. This violates recent amendments to the Municipal Systems Act, which prohibits political office-bearers from working in the administration.
The Public Protector's directive reaffirms the importance of holding those in power accountable for their actions and ensuring that political party interests do not take precedence over the welfare of the people. It also underscores the significance of adhering to the Municipal Systems Act, which prohibits staff members from holding political office in a political party while employed by the municipality.
We call on the City of Johannesburg to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into these appointments and take appropriate actions based on the findings.
Furthermore, we want to highlight that the Public Protector has assured us that if we are dissatisfied with the outcome of CoJ's investigation, we have the option to return to the PP for further review.
In light of this directive, the DA will be writing a letter to the Speaker of the City of Johannesburg, alerting her to the Public Protector's instruction and requesting a comprehensive investigation into the appointment of Mr. Charles Cilliers and other PA cadres. We believe that this directive is a significant step towards upholding the principles of good governance, transparency, and accountability in our city.
Additionally, the DA has also submitted a PAIA (Promotion of Access to Information Act) application for the records and recordings of the JRA meeting, as well as the recordings of the Mayoral Committee meeting where Mr. Cilliers' resignation was announced. We have taken note of the correspondence from the City of Johannesburg requesting an extension in this matter.
Issued by DA Johannesburg Caucus Leader, Cllr Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku