Cape Town – Mossel Bay municipal manager Thys Giliomee has until Thursday to write a letter to the council explaining why he should not be suspended for serious misconduct following an investigation showing he has a prima facie case of sexual harassment to answer.
The report from the investigation was tabled by mayor Harry Levendal during a special council meeting on Thursday last week, and was accepted by the full council.
Municipal spokesperson Nickey Le Roux said: “The council agreed to begin disciplinary proceedings against Giliomee due to the serious nature of the accusations and to suspend him pending the finalisation of the outcome of the disciplinary matter.
“The disciplinary hearing must commence within three months of the council decision and the presiding officer will advise the council in writing of the finding and sanction in terms of the regulations.”
Giliomee had been placed on special leave pending the outcome of the council’s decision during a special council meeting on April 29.
According to the council, community safety manager Colin Puren would act as municipal manager pending the outcome of the disciplinary matter and infrastructure services director Dick Naidoo would act as municipal manager in Puren’s absence.
ANC Mossel Bay constituency head Cameron Dugmore said: “Coming as it does shortly before the upcoming local government elections, this is a big blow for the self-proclaimed guardian of liberal values, the DA.
“They like to use Mossel Bay as their flagship of how a municipality should serve its residents, meanwhile the party’s polished public relations image is shattered as that party keeps on falling apart and failing the people of the Western Cape.”
Last week, ANC transport spokesperson Lulama Mvimbi accused the provincial government of creating the impression that it protected alleged perpetrators of sexual crimes.
Mvimbi made the accusation after Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell said that acting chief director of traffic management Farrel Payne had not been suspended despite having appeared at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court, where he was formally charged with sexual assault, crimen injuria and attempting to commit a sex act in October 2020.