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Nepotism does ‘not’ exist at municipality – report

An independent forensic investigation shows no proof of nepotism in the appointment of relatives of Drakenstein Mayor Conrad Poole at the municipality.

Following accusations of such nepotism earlier this year, Poole asked that a forensic investigation into these allegations be conducted.

The company appointed to do this, XTND, interviewed more than 30 people. These included staff members of the municipality (mainly human resources staff) involved in appointments, union representatives and the Leader of the Opposition in the Council.

The Mayor, four of his relatives and Councillor Laurichia van Niekerk (a mayoral committee member) were also interviewed.

According to the forensic investigator’s report, released afterwards, there is no evidence to support nepotism charges in in Poole’s family members employment at Drakenstein Municipality.

Each candidate underwent a recruitment process in accordance with the municipality’s recruitment and selection policy.

“The Executive Mayor did not play any part in these appointments, as some of the appointments were done before he was elected to his post as Mayor,” the report says.

“All the appointments form part of an administrative process.”

The appointment of Van Niekerk as a Mayco member was governed by the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act (Act 117 of 1998), which is done by the Executive Mayor and the ruling party.

The forensic investigator confirmed the relatives’ screening and recruitment records (including shortlisting and appointment letters) were requested and received, the appointment processes were evaluated, all possible witnesses were interviewed and the best candidates were appointed.

In addition, the report confirms the Mayor’s son-in-law was never employed by the Municipality, as charged.

Drakenstein Municipality, however, refused to hand the full report to Paarl Post for further investigation, “because it contains the personal information of staff members.”

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