Nelson Mandela Bay deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani wants to know how an official in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) signed off on the performance agreements of three senior Bay officials without the knowledge of MEC Fikile Xasa.
Xasa is supposed to have the final say on performance agreements relating to executive directors.
But, in a letter, a senior manager in the department acknowledged the performance agreements of Bay city manager Johann Mettler, human settlements executive director Nolwandle Gqiba and corporate services executive director Vuyo Zitumane.
In the letter, addressed to Mettler, the official said: “The department wishes to thank your municipality for cooperation in this regard. Please be informed that there were no errors identified during the analysis of these agreements.”
Zitumane also had her contract extended without Xasa’s knowledge.
After seeing the letter, Bobani sought clarity from Xasa, asking how the performance agreements had been submitted to the department.
“The performance agreements are approved by the council then submitted to the MEC not to the municipality support and performance management unit,” Bobani wrote, requesting Xasa to confirm that the letter was indeed from his office.
In his response, Xasa said: “My office was not aware of the letter [attached] in your correspondence and the relevant official who signed [it] off was not authorised to do so.”
Xasa said he would refer Zitumane’s contract extension to Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen and would only respond later.
Spokesman Mamnkeli Ngam said Xasa viewed the performance agreement issues in a serious light.
“He has requested the [Cogta acting head of department Monwabisi Baza] to conduct an investigation and report back to him,” Ngam said.
Bobani said Zitumane had been brought into the metro in 2015 by then minister Pravin Gordhan when executive director Mod Ndoyana was suspended. “The contract was supposed to have been just three months but ended up being a year.”
He said all the performance agreements should have been signed off by the MEC.
Mettler said the letter to Cogta was written by the municipality’s chief operating officer, Mzwake Clay.
“The reply was addressed to me because that is how matters are done, I am the accounting officer but I did not write my own performance agreement.
“The deputy mayor has an agenda against me. I don’t know what it is about,” Mettler said.
Zitumane said she was aware of her contract extension and that it did not need the MEC’s approval.
“My performance agreements as I understand were tabled in the mayoral committee on February 9 by Johan Mettler. I understand that [Bobani] distanced himself from the agreements,” she said.
Gqiba could not be reached for comment.