Municipal manager finally gets the boot

2011-05-17 07:03

The municipal manager of a rural Mpumalanga municipality has finally been fired after having won seven previous attempts to get rid of her.

Dr JS Moroka municipality mayor Innah Masombuka dismissed Monica Mathibela two weeks ago after the municipality received a disclaimer from Auditor-General Terence Nombembe for the financial year 2009/2010.Mathibela had been suspended since June 2010 but no charges were brought against her.

Masombuka suspended the manager just a day after service delivery protesters torched her R1.4-million house on June 29.

Masombuka then hired a private company to conduct a forensic investigation, but she has declined to release its findings to Mathibela or to the council.

“The auditor-general report revealed poor record-keeping on financial statements and council realised that many projects reported by the municipal manager could not be found on the ground,” Masombuka said.

She, however, refused to explain why Mathibela was suspended just after her house was torched.

“I will not speak about the burning of her house. You can speak to her about that,” Masombuka said.Evidence presented before the Siyabuswa Magistrate’s Court suggested that the protesters were organised to remove Mathibela because she refused to flout tender regulations for the benefit of politically-connected individuals.

Mathibela had in the meantime lodged an appeal against her dismissal with the labour court.

Her contract expires in 2014.“They should just pay the remainder of my contract and I will leave,” she said.

The fight between the two apparently found its origins in the ANC’s political camps. Masombuka was in Premier David Mabuza’s camp, while Mathibela backed deputy provincial ANC chairperson Charles Makola.

 

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