ANC jostles for power as Iron Mike sidesteps protocol

2011-02-01 14:14

A bid by eThekwini municipal manager Mike Sutcliffe to have his R1.6 million-a-year contract extended after June seems to have blown up in his face.

ANC leaders in the province were irked that Sutcliffe was quoted in a local Sunday newspaper saying that he wanted to ­extend his contract beyond June to run Durban’s Olympic bid.

They said he had ignored party structures to “lobby” for an ­extension when the party’s ­deployment committee was still dealing with councillor lists and had not yet begun discussing ­administrative appointments.

The renewed tension with the ANC leaders couldn’t have come at a worse time. On Thursday a provincial auditor-general’s ­report indicated that the city had incurred R500 million in “irregular expenditure” in the past ­financial year.

Sutcliffe’s contract, which expired before the World Cup, was extended to allow him to oversee tournament-related projects.

A senior member of the ANC provincial executive said the leadership was “concerned” about Sutcliffe’s comments.

“Mike is old in the ANC and he of all people knows this is not the way things are done. There is already a debate about the need for new leadership at city manager level, but these things can only happen after a new provincial ­executive is elected and once the issue of who the new city leadership will be is settled by the deployment committee,” he said.

“He (Sutcliffe) has great skills, but has been in the position for a very long time. How can we transform and move into the ­future ­without developing new leadership.”

However, Sutcliffe denied lobbying for the extension, saying his comments had been taken out of context and refused to comment further.

He said: “There is no issue here. I have a contract that ends in June and we’ll see after that. I am here to answer questions about the city, not about this.”

Following the death of eThekwini ANC chairperson John ­Mchunu, Sutcliffe’s relationship with the regional leadership has suffered.

Another ANC source said: “There is a feeling, rightly or wrongly, that Mike did the bidding of the former chair to the detriment of the region. He does not enjoy a good relationship with the current regional leadership and this may get worse with the coming elections.”

The ANC’s alliance partners also ­favoured a change, having been fiercely critical of several deals done under ­Sutcliffe’s ­tenure.

The likely candidate for his job – perhaps the most sought-after administrative post in the ­province as it controls a budget of R26 billion a year – is former ANC member of provincial ­legislature Cyril Xaba, adviser to Premier Zweli Mkhize.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.