It transpired a while later that she was asked to resign by Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga, who had been implicated in the “jobs for pals” scandal, and who said tonight he had no option but to elbow Aucamp out of the job.
“I note that Ms Marietha Aucamp has formally tendered her resignation from her position as the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Executive Mayor of Tshwane after having been asked to do so,” Msimanga said in a statement.
“I wish to state that I accept her resignation and will inform the office of the city manager to whom the chief of staff reports so as to observe all due process in this regard,” he said.
“We note that following the revelations that have come to the fore, the prima facie evidence before us and the controversy surrounding the matter, as the Executive Mayor, I had no option but to ask her to resign. From myself as the Executive Mayor we want to wish her well in all her future endeavours.”
In a statement Aucamp sent by text this evening, she said she was saddened to see Msimanga being “blamed and dragged” and would vacate her position to eliminate any doubt towards the mayor.
“It was sad for me to see the executive mayor, who has run a clean campaign, took transparent decisions and acted only in the interest of the city, being blamed and dragged into this debate whilst not having any part in any wrongdoing. I cannot continue in my job knowing that my appointment creates doubt on the executive mayor’s alleged involvement.”
“I therefore tender my resignation to the city with effect from 31 May 2018.”
Msimanga has been embroiled in a ‘jobs-for-pals’ scandal after it was revealed that he was part of an interview panel that appointed Aucamp in November 2016. But Aucamp, who only has a matric, did not meet the minimum requirements of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification.
She was however scored the highest by Msimanga and MMC of Corporate and Shared Services Cilliers Brink. Former acting city manager Lindiwe Kwele was also part of the panel.
“It was never a secret that I don’t have a tertiary qualification. Did it make me cautious on decisions? Yes. Did it make me feel inferior at times? Yes, it did. I checked and consulted all the time before making decisions. Every day I went to the office, I was always aware of my shortcoming.
“I was, however, able to make up for shortcomings due to my knowledge of the executive mayor’s vision, which is to make this city a place where everyone deserved the same quality of services with the opportunity to work, earn a living and have a place to call home,” she said.
According to documents apparently handwritten by Aucamp, she indicated to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs that she had a BTech degree.
But Aucamp denies this.
“A number of allegations and documents have been making the rounds. I would like to state that I did not submit the form indicating that I possess a BTech degree. The process of my appointment was through the stages of selecting a preferred candidate before I did the assessment for senior managers, which the assessment outcome wasn’t influenced by whether or not I had indicated in the form that I had a degree.”
Aucamp was placed on special leave on Wednesday, with Msimanga saying irregularities around her appointment would be investigated.
Earlier today, the Tshwane ANC opened a case of fraud against Aucamp for allegedly lying about her qualifications.
“We have always said to you, Solly is not the mayor of Tshwane, but Marietha was the actual mayor. Marietha has been the boss of Solly for over 10 years. She was the chief whip of the DA [Democratic Alliance] in council for over 10 years. Solly and other councillors were reporting to her,” said ANC Tshwane caucus spokesperson Lesego Makhubela.
“When this [DA-led] administration was put into power, Marietha was a councillor of the DA. She was then appointed as an MMC, and we made an outcry that the executive which had been appointed was lily-white. They then removed her and placed her directly in the office of the mayor. She was then given a position which she is not qualified for.”
Makhubela insisted that in Tshwane House corridors, Aucamp was known to possess significant power.
“She was placed there to babysit the puppet. She is the one who ensures that the puppet is on the string, toes the party line, telling him where to go and how to do certain things. This is why the DA has gone to great lengths, breaking the law,” said Makhubela.
– Additional reporting by Citizen reporter