A mayor’s speechwriter suspended over twitter war with ex-lover
Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina has suspended his speechwriter, Malaika Mahlatsi, following a social media spat between her and an ex-lover.
In a statement on Tuesday, Masina’s office said it had issued Mahlatsi with a notice of intention to suspend her in relation to the municipality’s code of conduct.
The ugly public spat led to allegations that Mahlatsi, a writer who also goes by the name Malaika wa Azania, was writing Masina’s Ph.D. dissertation. She has denied the allegations about the Ph.D. dissertation, made by her ex-lover Katlego Mamabolo.
“The office of the executive mayor has today, May 12, 2020, issued Malaika Mahlatsi with a notice of intention to suspend her employment with the City of Ekurhuleni for contravening the Municipal Systems Act (MSA): Code of Conduct for Municipal Staff Members and the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) Social Media Policy,” reads the statement.
It said in terms of the code of conduct, staff members of a municipality must at all times act in the best interest of the municipality and in such a way that the credibility and integrity of the municipality are not compromised.
“In terms of the CoE social media policy, personal use of social media must be conducted in a manner that indicates no link or association with the CoE. For this reason, personal use is not covered in this policy.
“The CoE will, however, take necessary steps should users make the use of social media in a manner that has a direct, indirect or potential impact on the CoE’s reputation or interests,” reads the statement.
It said Masina’s office noted with great concern the circulation of an alleged audio recording of Mahlatsi on social media. In the recording she claims the mayor decreased the salaries of staff members in the municipality without consultation.
“The claims are untrue and devoid of factuality. The executive mayor, upon deciding to donate 33% of his salary to the Solidarity Fund, consulted the speaker of the council, chief whip, members of the mayoral committee, city manager, group chief financial officer and, all heads of department to encourage them to join himself and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to contribute to the fund.
“The above-mentioned elected public representatives and officials signed pledge forms authorising the city’s department of human resources to deduct a portion of their salaries and redirect the donations to the Solidarity Fund,” reads the statement.
It said Masina had no authority to decrease the salaries of municipal staff and also denied claims that Mahlatsi was working on his Ph.D.
“The executive mayor is currently in the early stage of preparing his research proposal for a doctoral degree in philosophy. At no point has any individual authored or contributed to the contents of the research proposal, including anyone who was reviewing or proof-reading the material,” reads the statement.
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