Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga. PHOTO: ANA

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Tshwane mayor defends ‘bodybuilder’ executive director appointment

JOHANNESBURG, July 12 – Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga on Thursday, defended the appointment of a bodybuilder as executive director in his private office.

Msimanga said Stefan de Villiers was a political appointment hired based on his experience.

“I want to make it clear that Stefan de Villiers is a political appointment. All political leaders appoint and need support staff who can land our policies in government, communicate our message and handle sensitive information,” Msimanga said in a statement.

He said as it is the with the appointment of media spokespersons, policy advisers and event coordinators, job requirements for political appointments are different from those of officials working in municipal administration.

“Stefan has been appointed in my private office and plays a vital role in ensuring I have time available in my schedule to communicate with all communities in Tshwane. Stefan is by far the most qualified candidate for this, he has worked extensively in setting up community events and  engagements in our city for several years.”

The Citizen newspapers reported Thursday, that De Villiers was a qualified fitness trainer, bodybuilding champion and a former Democratic Alliance (DA) employee. The newspaper reported that he landed the R1 million annual salary post despite falling far short of the advertised requirements.

The allegations comes hot on heels of the resignation of Marieta Aucamp, who left the DA-led administration under a dark cloud for not having necessary qualifications for the position. Msimanga appointed Aucamp as his chief of staff only to place her on special leave after an outcry from opposition parties. She then resigned with immediate effect in May

The African National Congress (ANC ) in Tshwane again urged Msimanga and Corporate Services MMC Celliers Brink to resign over the latest debacle.

“The ANC Tshwane caucus calls for the immediate removal Mr. Stefan De Villiers from the employ of the city and that the city should recoup every cent he made unlawfully from the city which amounted to millions of rands. Mr. Stefan De Villiers like Marietta Aucamp are close aides of the mayor, Mr. Stefan, a body builder by profession, is a senior DA member who was at the helm of the mayor’s campaign team,” the party said on Wednesday.

“Both Msimanga and Brink participated in the head hunting of Aucamp to act as chief of staff for three months before she was fully employed after the flouting of processes.” (ANA)

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