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'Dishonest' Mlokothi loses court case over City Manager post

Sep 6, 2017
'Dishonest' Mlokothi loses court case over City Manager post

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Tuesday said that the Port Elizabeth High Court dismissed an application by Vuyo Mlokothi to set aside a resolution by the municipality's Council, which rescinded its earlier appointment of Mlokothi as City Manager.

"The court also ordered Mlokothi to pay the municipality’s costs of the litigation, including the costs of two counsel," explained Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Communications and Media Management Officer, Mthubanzi Mniki. 

"In his judgement, Judge Dayalan Chetty, who also presides in the Panayatiou matter, and is the most senior and experienced judge of the Port Elizabeth High Court and formerly a judge in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, found that the Council of the municipality had acted lawfully and its decision to rescind Mlokothi’s appointment and appoint Johann Mettler as City Manager was fully justified."

Mniki said that presiding Judge Chetty found Mlokothi to have lacked candour, had distorted the truth, acted in bad faith and provided patently false responses when he dealt with the Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, who asked him pertinently if he had been suspended by his previous employer, the State Information Technology Agency.

"Chetty also found that Mlokothi furnished a patently false answer in his application form for the city manager post when he falsely stated that disciplinary proceedings were not pending against him at SITA," he added.

"Mlokothi was in fact suspended by SITA and charged in internal disciplinary proceedings with misconduct, a fact he failed to disclose to Trollip and about which he furnished a false explanation.

"Immediately after Council rescinded Mlokothi’s appointment in November last year, the Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Fikile Xasa, employed him in Bhisho as a deputy director-general.

"Mlokothi then launched his court application, which was immediately followed by a separate application to the High Court by the MEC who challenges the appointment of Mettler as City Manager."

Mniki said that it remains to be seen whether the MEC will take action against Mlokothi in light of Chetty’s ruling.

"The Executive Mayor is pleased that the decision taken by council, after his motivation to them about Mr Mlokhoti's non-disclosure, has been vindicated," he described.

"This coalition government undertook to stamp out corruption and maladminstration and it was simply unacceptable to employ someone to that position who was not honest."