Family affair

Free State municipality is a family affair as CFO faces nepotism complaint

The Lejweleputswa District Municipality in the Free State has been plagued by rampant nepotism which has seen four family members and a relative of its chief financial officer, Kaizer Pitso (pictured), employed by the institution in an apparent scandal jobs for the family.

The Sunday World has established that Pitso not only faces allegations of nepotism, but that his appointment was also flagged as invalid by former Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Zweli Mkhize.

Municipal records show that the municipality has Katleho Pitso employed as project manager and Goodman Pitso as fire coordinator.

Katleho and Goodman are the CFO’s biological daughter and son, respectively.

In addition to this, the CFO’s other relatives include Matima Pitso, who is employed in the disaster management department and Ntjebe Pitso, a general worker.

A certain Mr. Lesenyeho, who is the cousin of the CFO, is a security guard at the municipality.

The municipality is located in the northwest part of the Free State.

Mkhize had then written to the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Oupa Khoabane, claiming that Pitso’s appointment was contrary to the Municipal Systems Act and its regulations, and was therefore invalid.

“The Systems Act empowers the MEC to take appropriate action to enforce compliance by municipalities, which action may include applying to a court for a declaratory order on the validity of the appointment or other legal action. against the municipality,” the letter reads. , dated June 18, 2018.

Mkhize had rejected a report from the municipality justifying Pitso’s appointment. But despite his instructions at the time, Pitso remains in his place.

Khoabane said, “I cannot answer personally on a question that affects a portfolio that has executive authority; I am no longer one.”

New Cogta MEC Mxolisi Dukwana, who is also the organizer of the ANC interim provincial committee, did not respond to written questions.

Municipal spokesman Khaya Mqeke defended the Pitsos’ employment, saying it could not be called nepotism because the chief financial officer does not sit on the human resources committee.

“The Constitution of the Republic prohibits discrimination. There are so many people with the same last name in the commune but they were not bothered like this.

“As a municipality, we don’t have a policy that says one family, one last name. We do not discriminate based on surname. Sometimes the same last name doesn’t translate to a family affair,” he said.

Regarding qualifications, Mqeke confirmed Mkhize’s letter, saying that “the municipality later discovered that not all of its documents (from Pitso) had been submitted to Cogta in accordance with legal requirements”.

“CFO has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and a municipal financial management program.

During the interview process, his qualification was displayed for all counselors to view,” Mqeke said.

“The same advisers were represented on the interview panel,” he said.

However, the Municipal Financial Management Act prescribes an NQF Level 6 qualification in accounting, finance, economics or a field relevant to the position of chief financial officer, which Pitso does not hold.

Pitso did not respond to requests for comment.

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Georges Matlala