Primrose Lerato Mbhiza
THE Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg has declared the appointment of City of Joburg Manager Floyd Brink unlawful and invalid following the DA’s challenge to the validity of his appointment.
The order has, however, been suspended for 10 days to allow the city to appoint an acting municipal manager.
In his judgement Acting Judge S Budlender said the decision of the City of Joburg Council, on 22 February 2023, to rescind a prior decision to advertise the position of the City Manager; and authorise the Executive Mayor to apply ‘corrective measures pertaining to the recruitment process of Brink, as a matter of urgency’ – is declared unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid.
Judge Budlender also ruled that the approval of the Mayor’s decision to offer Brink a five-year fixed-term employment contract and authorise the Executive Mayor or his nominee to negotiate and finalise the ‘terms of conditions’ of the fixed-term employment contract, remuneration, performance contract and security clearance of Brink, was also declared unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid.
The Judge further ruled that the municipality, the council, the office of the City Manager and Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda, and speaker Colleen Makhubele will be liable for the DA’s legal costs, including the costs of two counsels.
In April 2022, Brink was placed on special leave after allegations of misconduct and that he flouted procurement processes in acquiring portable handheld communication devices and CCTV equipment for the Public Safety Department.
Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS) commissioned the law firm ENSafrica to investigate irregularities related to approving a R320-million public safety transaction.
The ENSafrica report found Brink did not act when he discovered the multimillion-rand transaction had been pushed through without following due process.
DA Joburg Caucus Leader Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku has welcomed the judgement and called on the City to immediately implement the remedies ordered by the court.
“The Judgment confirms the DA’s contention that the Mayor and the Speaker of council blatantly flouted processes to ensure Brink’s unlawful appointment.
“Johannesburg’s rot has now been laid bare, and it is a disgrace that a High Court Judgment was necessary to force the City to follow due process.
“Our victory in this matter safeguards the residents of Johannesburg against further decay and blatant disregard for the rule of law by the ANC/EFF Doomsday Coalition that continues to flout processes to purge hard working officials to make way for cadres aligned to them,” said Kayser-Echeozonjoku.