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’Sex pest’ accused find home in DA council

Former Mossel Bay municipal manager Thys Giliomee has been appointed municipal manager for the DA-led Hessequa Municipality.

Former Mossel Bay municipal manager Thys Giliomee has been appointed municipal manager for the DA-led Hessequa Municipality.

Published Dec 2, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Yet another Western Cape municipality has caused outrage after it emerged that sexual harassment accused former Mossel Bay municipal manager Thys Giliomee has been appointed municipal manager for the DA-led Hessequa Municipality.

Giliomee who takes up office next month, was placed on special, full-paid leave earlier this year pending an investigation into alleged misconduct in the form of sexual harassment during his tenure in the Mossel Bay municipality.

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Giliomee is alleged to have sexually harassed a junior employee. After extensive negotiations, his contract was later terminated before he could face a disciplinary hearing.

Outraged opposition parties on Wednesday vowed to challenge the appointment, accusing the DA of turning a “blind eye” on issues relating to gender-based violence when they involved their municipalities.

This was in relation to the party’s recent call for the resignation of child rapist Kannaland mayor Jeffrey Donson following his re-election with the help of the ANC.

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But DA mayor of Hessequa municipality Grant Riddles said Giliomee was appointed as municipal manager with effect from January 1, 2022 after following all legal procedures.

“Cogta ( National Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs) has confirmed that none of the shortlisted candidates are on the register that excludes people to be appointed due to any misconduct.

“At present the appointment report and council resolution is scrutinized by the Provincial Department of Local Government as prescribed in legislation. Hessequa municipality is against and condemn all forms of sexual harassment against any person,” he said.

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While Giliomee refused to comment on Wednesday, Cogta said they were looking into the matter.

ANC Head of Communications, Sifiso Mtsweni said they were not surprised by the developments.

“We have said for many years that the DA is hypocritical and downright immoral. We will challenge this appointment and further expose Anton Bredell who is an enabler of this behaviour,” Mtsweni said.

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Patriotic Alliance Deputy Provincial Leader Sammy Claassen said Gillomee was not fit to hold office.

“The DA must enlighten the public on its double standards, regarding the deployment of Mr Thys Gillomee and the ‘soft stance’ with regards to gender-based violence. The DA and its MEC of Local Government should not treat sexual harassment as a minor crime in the workplace. It is a serious offence and a crime. It should block all sexual offenders with immediate effect,” he said.

Bredell’s department said they were assessing the appointment, with its head of communications, Rowena van Wyk saying: “Documentation was received from the office of the Mayor of Hessequa (Tuesday). The Department of Local Government is currently assessing the same, firstly on the compliance of the candidate with the qualifications, competencies, years of relevant experience and skill as required for the position and secondly, whether the Municipality was compliant with the recruitment and selection process as prescribed by the applicable Regulatory Framework.”

GOOD party secretary-general Brett Herron called on Bredell to act in the public interest and deny the appointment.

“This is another disgraceful appointment. It’s an abuse of trust and it once again exposes the DA’s claim of merit based appointments as a lie. They are up to no-good in the towns that make up this district and their promise of transparency is another broken promise,” he said.

In another development, the ANC in the Western Cape has withdrawn its coalition agreement with the Independent Civic Organisation of SA (Icosa) in the Kannaland municipality, which enabled Donson to be re-elected as the municipality’s mayor.

Donson, who is a member of Icosa, was convicted for the rape of a 15-year-old girl during his tenure as mayor in 2008.

Mtsweni said they will now assume opposition in the municipality: “We have mandated the negotiating team to process the decision of the provincial leadership to withdraw from the Provincial Office program for which coalition. Yesterday the Provincial coordinator visited Kannaland to effect this decision. The ANC Speaker of the Municipality is being withdrawn and we will assume opposition in the Municipality.”

Icosa provincial leader, Dawid Kamfer said they only heard that the ANC has withdrawn its support through the media on Thursday.

“No one talks to us, so we will carry on as normal,” he said.

Cape Times

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