Controversial Kannaland terminates municipal manager’s contract and hires accused of fraud | TBEN

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Jeffrey Donson, Peter-George Rooi, Keith Jordaan and Werner Meshoa. (Photo: Supplied)

  • The beleaguered municipality of Kannaland has terminated the contract of its municipal manager.
  • It has hired an accused fraud in an acting capacity.
  • Keith Jordaan’s contract was dissolved during a council meeting on Thursday afternoon.

The embattled Kannaland Municipality terminated its municipal manager’s contract a week before it was due to expire – and in a sensational move it appointed a man accused of fraud to act in the position.

TBEN has learned that Keith Jordaan’s contract was terminated during a council meeting on Thursday afternoon.

Hendrik Barnard was appointed to the position of acting member at the same meeting.

Jordaan was named to the position last October after convicted child molester Jeffery Donson regained his position as mayor after several no-confidence motions were filed in the previous leadership.

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Donson’s party, TBEN Civic Organization of South Africa, tabled a motion of no confidence against the then leadership at a special council meeting in Calitzdorp.

He and fellow party members also submitted motions to the mayor, deputy mayor and municipal clerk.

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The new leadership trio consisted of Donson, Jordaan as city manager, with Werner Meshoa regaining his position as deputy mayor.

However, Jordaan was appointed on a contract basis for three months.

Western Cape local government MEC Anton Bredell said Jordaan was unable to work permanently in a local government position for at least 10 years after his dismissal for mismanagement in 2019.

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Jordaan’s appointment has been shrouded in controversy after he was sacked for mismanagement and an investment of nearly R300 million at Old Mutual while he was the chief financial officer of the George Municipality.

In a statement Jordaan made after his contract ended, he said he left Kannaland in a better place than when the council appointed him.

“Stabilization, after the inevitable damage of significant political shenanigans since November 1, 2021, has been my priority. And stability is being achieved.

“Compliance is the core of municipal management, and compliance is where I leave Kannaland. Good governance is easy to achieve. It happens in the blink of an eye. You choose to be excellent, and it is done,” he added.

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Barnard is one of four top officials alleged to have defrauded Kannaland Municipality out of more than R338 million.

He was the director of corporate services at the time of the alleged fraud.

Barnard was arrested by the Hawks in 2021.

Donson told TBEN: “The council manager’s contract expires next week, and there was only a scheduled council meeting after his contract expired. So we have appointed Barnard until the position is filled.”