Community services

Court rules against appointment of Community Services Director of Enoch Mgijima LM

Linda Bolani, Director of Community Services and Safety of Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM).

The Makhanda High Court has issued a decision against the Director of Community Services and Security of the Local Municipality of Enoch Mgijima (EMLM), Linda Bolani, stating that her appointment was invalid as it did not meet the competency requirements of the job.

Bolani was appointed in November 2019 for a contract period ending November 30, 2024. However, on July 10, 2020, the board decided to remove Bolani from office for reasons attributed to an irregularity in the procedures related to her appointment.

The first applicant is the municipality and the former administrator, Monwabisi Somana, is the second, in accordance with the council’s instructions.

Bolani also allegedly offered bribes to an adviser (known Komani-Karoo Express).

Motilal judge Sunil Rugunanan ruled last week that Bolani’s CV showed her higher qualifications were mainly in horticultural studies and “she does not have the required knowledge of the responsibilities” for the post.

He said the candidates’ founding affidavit presented a compelling argument, showing that the assessment was flawed in several respects and non-compliant. Bolani, according to the judge, had received a basic level (50%) on the competency framework assessment covering financial management, change management and governance leadership. However, she achieved skill status and progressed in other skills.

Rugunanan said Bolani failed to deal “seriously and unambiguously” with the plaintiffs’ allegations.

“When she sought to deny the plaintiffs’ interpretation of the settlements, she did not take this court into confidence and did not present her views on their interpretation. Indeed, in the limited instances where it has sought to challenge certain claims advanced by claimants, it has no longer relied on those assertions without providing supporting evidence,” he said. The case presented by EMLM and Somana was unanswered and unanswered.

He said evidence of Bolani’s bribery to said adviser was relevant. The city councilor made himself heard during the meeting of July 10, 2020 to remedy the irregularity of Bolani’s appointment. The court said the conversation was recorded by Bolani during a meeting without the adviser’s knowledge in September 2020, with the adviser submitting a confirmatory affidavit to the court.

“Apart from maintaining that it was the advisor who contacted her, the respondent does not dispute the offer she made nor does she dispute the transcript and the supporting documents put forward by the plaintiffs. Her approach demonstrates that “She was aware of the impropriety of her appointment to the post in question. Her offer is nothing more than a selfish and blatant attempt to undermine the rule of law,” Rugunanan said.

“The appointment by the first applicant of the respondent on November 29, 2019 and the employment contract concluded between them on December 3, 2019 are declared void. The aforementioned appointment and contract are reviewed and canceled as a just and equitable remedy. The defendant will pay the costs of the claim,” Rugunanan said.

Bolani did not respond to questions sent to him by Komani-Karoo Express Wednesday July 20 and July 21.