Krome River © Barry Culligan
Appointment Of Mayor’s Daughter – Nikita Hendricks
The above matter bears reference.
Definition of nepotism:
Is the action of appointing and promoting family and relatives. In an organisation, it means that family members are favoured over others, even though they may not be as qualified or skilled.
Source: Oxford Reference
As Executive Mayor of Kouga Municipality, I was not involved with the appointment of Ms N. Hendricks.
The appointment of the Mayor’s daughter, Ms N. Hendricks, started pre-COVID-19 as a disaster volunteer. Her appointment was questioned at that stage, and it was answered.
N. Hendricks, after that, applied for a political appointment as a Ward Assistant. Her appointment was once again questioned, and it was once again answered.
- N. Hendricks then applied for an internal vacancy.
- The Auxiliary Officer position was advertised internally on 14 December 2022 and closed on 19 December 2022.
- The position was vacant on 31 March 2022. Two months after that, on 1 May 2022, it was decided to allow an employee to act in the position to assist with the operational duties of the Auxiliary Officer until the position is advertised, to be filled permanently.
- Shortlisting was held on 21 December 2022.
- It must be noted that the panel consisted of 3 employees. Ms Z. Mdidimba, Auxiliary Coordinator, who is closely linked to the ANC, as well as a member of SAMWU (The Auxiliary Officer reports to this employee), Ms M. Rossouw, the Manager Administration & Auxiliary Services and Acting Director: Corporate & Digital Services, and Mr D. de Jager, the Deputy Municipal Manager.
- It must also be noted that the Acting HR Manager Mr Denzil van Vuuren recused himself from the panel and the entire process due to a conflict of interest in his relationship with me and that another HR Representative was used in his place, Ms E Sana. This was to ensure fairness and transparency.
- Upon shortlisting, the panel decided to shortlist Ms N Hendricks and Ms M. Jeggels as they met all the requirements and not to shortlist Ms C. Mgwasa due to the following reasons:
• CV was not updated with the latest experience as an Acting Auxiliary Officer from May 2022 to December 2022.
• No certificate showing an actual N6 Qualification, only a statement of results and a letter dated 24 January 2013 stating that the employee is on the list for students who will graduate in May 2013.
• An example of being consistent was also used in the non-shortlisting of the Auxiliary Coordinator and Cleaner position, where the same occurred.
▪ After shortlisting was completed, Ms C. Mgwasa was called in by Ms Z. Mdidimba and Ms M. Rossouw and informed why she was not shortlisted. She then sorted clarity from the HR Representative, the Acting HR Manager and the Deputy Municipal Manager, who she informed that she had been previously shortlisted for the very same position but was unsuccessful. It must also be noted that she informed the HR Representative, Ms E. Sana, that she could not understand why the other applicant had been shortlisted but did not have the relevant experience.
• With this said, Ms M. Rossouw, the Manager Administration & Auxiliary Services and Acting Director: Corporate & Digital Services, decided to shortlist the applicant based on being shortlisted previously. Accordingly, the Interviews were held on 23 December 2022.
- It must be noted that one applicant, Ms M. Jeggels withdrew on 23 December 2022.
- All three panellists, including Ms Mdidimba, a close ANC ally, scored Ms N. Hendricks the highest.
- Ms N. Hendricks also scored by far the highest in the competency assessment.
- It must be noted that N. Hendricks has an honours degree (NQ level 8), while the vacancy was advertised at an NQ level 6.
- It must be noted that within the competency assessment, the applicant who was, in fact, acting in the position failed to understand certain questions, specifically the facilitation and planning of building maintenance repairs.
- Ms Hendricks, in total, scored 19% more than the second candidate.
- The full panel, including Ms Mdidimba, was in consensus to appoint MS. N. Hendricks.
- It must also be stated that neither the recruitment policy nor the Municipal staff regulations forbid the appointment of family members. The only clear aspect is that there cannot be any conflict of interest in the recruitment process.
- The above is clear that the process was free, fair, open and transparent to all, proving that I had no influence at any stage.
- When my daughter approached me about the vacancy and informed me that she would apply, I advised her of what the family went through when she was appointed a Disaster Volunteer and a Ward Assistant. I told her the family would have to go through that again if she was a successful applicant. She indicated that it is her right to apply and is willing to stand for her decision.
- As a family, this has been a trying period, but I will also support the career choices of my children.
- The accusations of the ANC are unfounded and nowhere proven or corroborated by facts.
- In terms of their own statement, they have admitted that the Mayor was not involved in the appointment of Ms N. Hendricks by saying Mayor Hendricks turned a blind eye.
- Furthermore, former ANC cadres like the late Kouga Executive Mayor, B. Koerat’s, children worked at the municipality while he was the Mayor. Cllr. P. Oliphant’s wife works at the Humansdorp Traffic Department – although she was fired for fraud and corruption in 2011 and reinstated shortly after that. Former Kouga Executive Mayor R. Dennis also employed family members at the municipality while he was the Mayor.
I, therefore, categorically deny that I was ever involved in any administrative appointments at Kouga Municipality.
Kind Regards, Horatio Hendricks