Appointment of Municipal Manager Memani

Dear Members,

Mayor Swart announced the appointment of Mr. Mbulelo Memani as Bitou Municipal Manager on 17 March.  In spite of Mr. Memani making disclosures of pending corruption charges in Knysna during the interview, Councillors Swart and Nel, as part of the selection committee, were satisfied and nominated him anyway.  Mr. Memani is due to start his new position in Bitou Municipality on 4 April.

Mr. Memani was Chief Financial Officer of Knysna Municipality until he vacated his post in October 2020 with complaints pending of financial misconduct and another complaint in connection with a R43 million prepaid water meter contract.

The Ratepayers’ Association has asked the questions below of Mayor Swart and are awaiting his reply.

Peter Gaylard

Dear Mayor Swart,

Regarding your appointment of Mr. Memani as Bitou municipal manager, will you please answer the following questions so we better understand the situation?

  1. Were municipal protocols followed?  The Daily Maverick article suggests not.
  2. In applying for the post, did Mr. Memani complete the standard employment application form?  If so, how did he comply with the question requiring disclosure of pending disciplinary and criminal charges?  If not, what were the means by which disclosures were solicited and made?  In either case, a copy of the completed forms of disclosure (plus supporting documentation) is requested.
  3. Why did Council agree to the appointment despite Mr. Memani’s confession that disciplinary investigations were under way?
  4. Why were informal due diligence checks, such as google, not pursued by any of your DA coalition councillors, by you or your advisors?
  5. Did MEC Bredell approve the appointment of Mr. Memani?

If you have not already done so, we suggest you put the municipal manager’s appointment on hold, or rescind it, to avoid having to pay out his employment contract.

Kind regards,
Peter Gaylard