CHIEF internal auditor for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Bonnie Chan has lashed out at acting city manager Themba Hani for defaming her, saying he did not understand the metro's recruitment protocols.
Chan vehemently denied allegations that she had tampered with the recruitment process to hire a white, male friend in an affirmative action post in her department.
Responding to claims that she had a personal interest in the appointment of Werner Wiehart as the assistant director for forensics and environment, Chan said it was clear that Hani did not understand the municipality's recruitment process.
In a confidential report to the municipal public accounts committee (MPAC), Chan lashed out at Hani for his defamatory statements.
This comes after Hani told councillors at a previous MPAC meeting that Chan had tampered with the selection process and wanted to hire Wiehart, despite former acting municipal manager Elias Ntoba's disapproval.
All political parties with the exception of the DA wanted Chan disciplined and the recommendation for Wiehart's appointment cancelled and the hiring process started afresh.
In the report Chan said: "[Hani said] I had misled and deceived the MPAC and that I had a personal interest in the appointment. The suggestion, it seemed, was that I had manipulated the recruitment and selection process in order to appoint a friend.
"His statements were wrongful and defamatory and have certainly injured my reputation."
She demanded an unconditional public apology from Hani, UDM councillor Mongameli Bobani and ANC councillors Marion Harning and Joy Seale for their "personal attack on [her] integrity and credibility".
"It seems fairly clear that [Hani] does not have a proper and or no understanding of the municipality's recruitment, selection and retention policy," Chan said.
She said the recruitment process was overseen by human resources, which had been "satisfied with the transparency and fairness in all respects, including in relation to employment equity".
Chan said the then corporate services executive director Rio Nolutshungu had advised that it would not be a problem to appoint a candidate from another race should a suitable black candidate not be found.
Based on the interview score sheets, which The Herald has seen, Wiehart scored the highest – an average of 94% – followed by a candidate who scored 68%. Chan and the municipality's chief operating officer Israel Tsatsire constituted the interview panel, along with Nolutshungu and members of the trade unions.
Meanwhile, black business organisation Nafcoc has called for Chan to be investigated. Regional secretary Unathi Sonti yesterday said Nafcoc supported the UDM and ANC's call for Chan to be disciplined.
"We call for the allegations against Chan to be investigated. Based on history, we are of the view that every opportunity that opens up for black people, she has stopped. That behaviour is worrying to us." – Additional reporting by Nwabisa Makunga