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By Moneyweb

Moneyweb: Journalists

Tshwane manager likely to be paid R7m in ‘golden handshake’

Secret deal with city manager could cost ratepayers dearly.

The deal the DA-led City of Tshwane last week approved to get rid of its city manager could cost ratepayers more than R7 million.

This crucial bit of information was, however, left out of the statement in which the party’s Gauteng leader John Moodey announced that the city council had taken the “difficult decision in favour of service delivery” to part ways with Dr Moeketsi Mosola.

This comes as the city is still battling to get its electricity tariffs for the current year, which is its biggest source of revenue, approved by energy regulator Nersa.

The decision to approve the deal with Mosola was supported by all parties in council except for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Mosola still has two years and seven months left of his five-year term and will be paid in full for it, even though he is set to leave the employ of Tshwane on Wednesday.

In fact, he is even going to get a raise before he leaves and this would seemingly be backdated to 2017.

Although the report that served behind closed doors at the city council failed to mention the amount that would be paid to Mosola before Wednesday, it does discloses that his annual salary at the time of his appointment was more than R2.4 million.

On the basis of that, and estimating the effect of annual increases as well as the final extraordinary increase related to the reclassification of the city from a category nine to a category 10 municipality, councillors reckon Mosola’s final cheque would total more than R7 million.

But that is not the full extent of the city’s generosity towards Mosola.

The city also gives an undertaking not to use in any way the report compiled by law firm Bowmans into the irregular Glad Africa contract and in fact states that it will be nullified.

This report was commissioned by former Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga and Mosola obtained an interdict in the Labour Court to prevent it being tabled in council. It is widely accepted that it heavily implicates Mosola.

The relationship between Msimanga and Mosola deteriorated and resulted in a public showdown that was only parked when Msimanga resigned to stand as the DA’s candidate for the Gauteng premiership in the May elections.

Msimanga was succeeded by current mayor Stevens Mokgalapa, who initially said he had a good relationship with Mosola.

The merits of Mosola’s case were never argued, although the city had a strong case to have the interdict set aside, according to sources with close knowledge of the matter. It is not clear why the city chose not to pursue this avenue.

In fact if Mosola and the council have their way, nobody will ever know what Bowmans found.

The city council further gave an undertaking to Mosola that it would not say anything that would harm his reputation and he equally undertook not to bad mouth the city.

The city seems to take this very seriously and even the report that served before council did not give any motivation for the costly deal that could be construed of criticism of Mosola, except a vague reference to “stabilising the administration” in order to prioritise service delivery.

That is probably why it was left to Moody to announce Mosola’s departure. Moody pointed out that the DA-led city government twice tried to suspend Mosola for his role in the GladAfrica contract and for contravening the Code of Conduct for municipal staff.

Moody says because of the lack of support in council from the ANC and EFF for Mosola’s suspension and “constraints of legislation”, the mutual separation agreement between the city and Mosola is the most practical way forward that will save the city from costly and time-consuming litigation.

The city did its best to keep the detail of its deal with Mosola from ratepayers.

The report, which gave little detail about the financial implications for the city, served behind closed doors and every councilor had to return his/her hard copy back at the end of the session.

Nevertheless the detail leaked and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) is considering court action to stop the generous payout.

Outa CEO Wayne Duvenage says it is a simple matter. “They should simply have fired him,” he said.

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