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MEC demands answers from Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse for firing staff

There could be trouble brewing for Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse. She has now been summoned to give her side of the story in relation to her councils decision to fire ANC political staff. 

MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Lebogang Maile has given Phalatse until Friday to explain her actions. 

Maile’s spokesperson Lupi Ngcayisa said Maile wrote a letter to Phalatse dated March 17, asking her to provide the MEC with a comprehensive report on the disputed employment status of about 130 employees.

“It is common knowledge that the matter pertaining to the employment status of 130 municipal employees has, almost on a daily basis, received wide negative media coverage, with allegations and counter-allegations of impropriety being hurled from various quarters.

“As the MEC responsible for local government in the province, I am concerned that the ongoing dispute amongst the affected parties may have the very real likelihood of causing instability in the municipality that can potentially compromise the City’s ability to provide the residents of Johannesburg with effective and efficient basic services.” Maile wrote.

Ngcayisa said in the circumstances, Maile, instead of relying solely on media reports, deemed it appropriate and courteous to request the Executive Mayor, in the spirit of co-operative governance, to provide him, within seven days of receipt of his letter, with a comprehensive report on this matter.

Phalatse’s spokesperson Mabine Seabe said “it would be incorrect for the executive mayor, councillor Mpho Phalatse, to respond to the MEC, through the media”.

“Therefore, the executive mayor will study MEC Maile’s letter and respond accordingly,” Seabe said.

While Maile is expecting answers, lawyers for the 120 former political staff members are expected to file court papers challenging the pending termination of the contracts on April 30. The court challenge came after the City maintained that the decision taken by the mayoral committee and the city, council was and is a matter of compliance with the law, not a labour issue.


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Joburg Lupi Ngcayisa MEC Mpho Phalatse Ngcayisa


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