Ex-coalition councillor demands ANC’s deployment records

The ANC’s deployment committee in North West has been given an ultimatum to explain whether the party has endorsed or recommended the “flawed, irregular, and unlawful” appointment of Adv Ashmar Khuduge as municipal manager for the Rustenburg Local Municipality.

The ultimatum was sent to the governing party’s provincial structure by former Rustenburg councillor Ratanang Nke on Sunday last week.

Nke gave the committee until Tuesday to comply with his demand for copies of the records showing the decision of the impugned appointment or face legal action.

Nke’s ultimatum comes after he took the municipality to the Mafikeng High Court last year, challenging Khuduge’s alleged irregular appointment.

On Tuesday, Nke moved one gear up in his quest to reverse Khuduge’s appointment when he filed a supplementary affidavit, giving the municipality and other respondents 10 days to file a reply to his papers.

Among the respondents are Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Thembi Nkadimeng and North West cooperative governance, human settlements, and traditional affairs MEC Nono Maloyi, who filed a notice to abide by the court decision.

Now Nke, who resigned on January 15 as a proportional representation councillor for the local Arona political party, which was previously in coalition with the ANC, is turning the screws against the ANC, demanding the records.

The sought-after records Nke is demanding include the deployment committee’s notices, agenda, attendance registers, minutes and resolutions when the ANC considered the munici-pal manager’s appointment.

Nke also demanded correspondence to the ANC caucus meeting of September 8, 2023, held at the Rustenburg Civic Centre’s caucus room 4.

“In the event that you do not furnish me with your position by the end of business on Tuesday, 2 April 2024, I reserve my right to instruct my legal representatives to approach the court on an urgent basis, and costs shall be borne by you.”

Nke said the process leading to Khuduge’s appointment was flawed because the advertisement for the vacant position of municipal manager was non-compliant in that it was not placed in newspapers for the prescribed minimum period in line with regulations.

He said that the compliance evaluation report written by Maloyi, who is also the North West provincial chairperson, supported the non-compliance allegation.

In the report dated November 10 last year, Maloyi found that the initial advertisement on March 3 of last year was compliant until an erratum was issued on April 9, but the deadline of April 12, three days later, was never extended. The mayor’s report was also missing.

However, Maloyi approved the appointment “provisionally,” pending the municipality’s submission of outstanding information.

Nke said: “The MEC took an irrational, invalid and unlawful decision to provisionally support the impugned appointment of Adv Khuduge despite his findings of non-compliance in his report and failure by the municipality to respond to his queries as of 31 October 2023.”

He added that the selection panel of the municipal council unfairly and arbitrarily considered the candidature of Khuduge when his application was late, without a rational explanation or any explanation at all, when it had no right to do so.

Further, he said the munici-pality utilised a non-accredited service provider, the South African Local Government Association, in partnership with a company named MIE to conduct competency assessments.

At the time of the interviews and appointment, there was no proof that the candidates were screened, Nke said, adding that criminal checks were yet to be conducted.

He said he had reason to believe that prior to the municipal council taking the impugned resolution to appoint Khuduge, the matter would have served before and was considered by the deployment committees in the province or the Bojanala region, which included Rustenburg.

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