A former bodybuilder is apparently flexing his muscles and raking in the dough as the executive head in the Tshwane mayor’s office, despite allegedly only having a matric certificate and a personal training certification.
It is the second jobs-for-pals scandal to hit Solly Msimanga’s administration of the city in as many months.
The exposure of Stefan de Villiers, 34, Tshwane’s executive head in the private office of the mayor, follows that of Marietha Aucamp, who resigned under a cloud over her qualifications, also for being appointed without meeting the basic requirements.
The Citizen has established that De Villiers, who is a qualified fitness trainer, bodybuilding champion and former Democratic Alliance (DA) employee, landed the R1 million-per-annum job despite falling far short of the advertised requirements.
According to the job advertisement, the first two requirements were a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification and 12 years’ experience, of which five must be in a senior level.
In his application for the post, which is in The Citizen’s possession, De Villiers says he has a matric from Hoërskool Die Wilgers and a certificate in personal fitness training from Exercise Teachers Academy in 2004.
He falls short of the required 12 years’ experience by three years, having nine years’ experience, working only for the Democratic Alliance. He was the campaign coordinator during the 2016 local government elections, ensuring the smooth running of the race that led to Msimanga and the DA’s victory.
In a copy of his CV, De Villiers’ working experience included 2½ years as provincial field operations coordinator in the Gauteng DA, a seven-month stint as DA acting regional manager Gauteng north and three years and seven months as constituency operations manager for the party.
He says in his CV that he also took part in bodybuilding competitions, winning one in 2003, and continued to assist bodybuilding competitors while serving in the DA.
But according to the reference check, which The Citizen has seen, one of his references was a “friend” and a pastor, with his friend saying De Villiers’ weakness was that “he works too hard”.
Coincidentally, the former Tshwane chief of staff Marietha Aucamp, who recently made headlines for landing her R1.2-million job without the required qualification, formed part of De Villiers’ interview panel. Just like during Aucamp’s irregular appointment, De Villiers’ panel included MMC for corporate shared services Cilliers Brink, HR manager Gerald Shingange and former acting city manager Lindiwe Kwele.
Brink’s department headed the city’s HR division.
In the score card, seen by The Citizen, Cilliers and Aucamp scored De Villiers 21 and 20, respectively, out of 35.
In a document by the HR division, the shortlisting selection criteria state that candidates should meet the requirements mentioned in the advertisement.
Attached to the document was a summary of the shortlisted candidates, stating that De Villiers had no qualification, nor the relevant 12 years’ experience.
But the other two shortlisted candidates had met the requirements, both possessing the relevant experience and qualifications.
According to a copy of his appointment letter, De Villiers was selected as the ideal candidate and was made the offer on October 28, 2016, by Kwele.
While De Villiers and Brink did not respond to The Citizen’s e-mails or calls, Msimanga said Brink was involved in interview panels as his department oversaw all HR processes.
“He plays an oversight role and doesn’t make the appointments.”
The mayor told The Citizen he had commissioned city manager Moeketsi Mosola to continue probing irregular appointments of all City of Tshwane staff.
“My instruction was very clear that all staff should be probed. We are going to clean this thing out, which is why phase 2 will be implemented.”
Regarding De Villiers’ lack of qualifications, the city manager said they did not discuss HR processes in the media. He said findings of the second phase of the investigations would be released at a later stage.