Limpopo MEC opposed hiring of ‘incompetent’ Sekhukhune CFO

The appointment of a finance chief at the troubled Sekhukhune district municipality was opposed by Basikopo Makamu, the MEC for cooperative governance, human settlement, and traditional affairs in Limpopo, according to a report he wrote.

The report, which we have seen, contradicts Makamu’s own version when he told Sunday World two weeks ago that he never called for the review of the appointment of Hendrick Nkadimeng as the municipality’s chief financial officer (CFO).

Sunday World reported a fortnight ago that Nkadimemng was appointed to the position despite fluffing the competency test.

At the time, Makamu, through his spokesperson, Hitekani Magwedze, tried to downplay the scandal, saying there was never opposition to Nkandimeng’s appointment, whom they praised for acing the interview.

However, the report by Makamu, dated November 8 2022, shows that he was dribbled by the Sekhukhune council, which sent him an incomplete report at the time the process for appointment was under way.

Council dribbles MEC

After the council had decided on the appointment of Nkadimeng, it sent an undated file to Makamu without supporting documents on why the CFO had passed the test.

The manipulated submission to the MEC did not contain the application form, CV, and proof of qualifications that Nkadimeng’s two competitors for the job had submitted, Makamu wrote in his report.

Sources within the municipality say this was deliberate because the two other candidates were more qualified than Nkadimeng.

“The appointment of this fellow [Nkadimeng] was a foregone conclusion before the process even started,” said a leader at the municipality.

“So, upon realising that his competitors were more qualified for the job than he was, the plotters decided to mislead the MEC, giving him half-baked information.”

MEC defied

“The whole mess is now blowing up in everyone’s faces because that letter proves that the MEC was uneasy with the whole thing from the onset, but the council defied him.

“They defied Basikopo [Makamu] because the political winds were not blowing in his favour, but it is coming back to haunt them.”

Makamu chastised the Sekhukhune council in his letter, claiming that the appointment violated the local government legislation that governs the appointment of senior managers.

Among other things, the said legislation prohibits the appointment at the senior management level of candidates who do not meet the “competent” assessment, which was the case with Nkadimeng, who now runs the finances of the municipality.

“The municipality appointed a candidate with a basic achievement level who is unsuitable for appointment as senior manager as opposed to the incumbent who achieved a competent achievement level and is suitable for appointment as senior manager,” Makamu told then Sekhukhune mayor Julia Mathebe in 2022.

Failed to comply with policy

“The municipality did not comply with the local government’s regulations on the appointment and conditions of employment of senior managers, which recommend that the selection panel submit a report and recommendation on the selection process to the municipal council on the suitability of candidates who comply with the relevant competency requirement of the post.”

Makamu had called on the municipality to “review the appointment of [Nkadimeng] as opposed to a candidate who was declared competent”.

That call was ignored, and Nkadimeng remains at the helm as CFO, 14 months after the MEC called for his appointment to be rescheduled.

The municipality has refused to comment on the matter.

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