News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
16 Oct 2017
6:08 am

Tlokwe municipal manager blocks axing following alleged death threats

Ilse de Lange

She will also seek an order entitling her to remain the municipal manager until either June next year or December 2020.

Tlokwe’s municipal manager has obtained an urgent interim court interdict to stop a faction of councillors forcing her out of office, allegedly to protect themselves against a Hawks investigation into allegations that they intimidated and threatened to kill her.

Acting Judge Cassim Moosa granted an order to Dr Nomathemba Blaai-Mokgethi interdicting the Ventersdorp/Tlokwe (NW405) speaker, mayor and council from tabling, discussing, deliberating or deciding on the validity of her employment and contract.

This is pending the outcome of her application for a review of North West provincial local government and human settlements MEC Galaletsang Gaolaolwe’s decision that her contract expired on August 9.

She will also seek an order entitling her to remain the municipal manager until either June next year or December 2020, and restraining the municipal council from firing her without due process of law and compliance with her terms of employment.

In court papers, Blaai-Mokgethi alleged the repeated tabling of a proposal to terminate her contract was a ploy to force her out unlawfully. She cited a group of councillors who wanted to protect themselves from a Hawks probe into alleged intimidation and death threats against her.

The DA has been calling for Blaai-Mokgethi’s removal since last year. It accuses her of complicity in irregular and wasteful expenditure totalling millions of rands.

Mokgethi was appointed as municipal manager for four years in July 2014 and was again appointed as the NW404 municipal manager in December 2016 after the Tlokwe and Ventersdorp municipalities were amalgamated.

She maintained she has a fixed-term contract, with the right to negotiate renewal, and that the MEC could not terminate her employment without the due process of law.

The municipality and MEC opposed her application, arguing her appointment in 2016 contravened the Systems Act, which limits the duration of a municipal manager’s contract.