PE boss quits after mayor ‘held her hand, asked her not to leave’

2013-08-01 08:30

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He “held her hand and asked her not to leave” but Nelson Mandela Bay Metro’s city manager, Dr Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela, had “already made up her mind” to resign.

This, according to Mayor Benson Fihla, who said the resignation was regrettable but he was not surprised by the move.

Msengana-Ndlela resigned with immediate effect yesterday – after only five months in the hot seat at the beleaguered Eastern Cape metro.

Msengana-Ndlela was appointed in March. Before that the metro had been without a permanent city manager for two years.

Msengana-Ndlela’s resignation comes only two months after she had written an explosive letter to Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane about what she believed to be political interference by Fihla.

In the May letter Msengana-Ndlela also told Qoboshiyane she feared for her life.

Said Fihla: “I had a lengthy discussion with her. I told her we needed to work together. I held her hand and asked her not to leave.”

He said the city manager, who had only retuned from a month of sick leave on July 29 had, however, already made up her mind.

“She still held the view that there was political interference in the administration of the metro. She also felt uncomfortable working in an environment where she believed she was being sabotaged. She had this belief that some in the administration had political agendas,” he said.

“She was dissatisfied with everything, she wanted her own way,” Fihla said.

He said Msengana-Ndlela’s resignation left a void in a critical position and the metro would act swiftly to appoint a new manager to replace her.

Fihla said he had also been frustrated working with Msengana-Ndlela.

“We were both frustrated with each other. We did not enjoy a good working relationship at all,” Fihla said.

Yesterday evening, Qoboshiyane, who seemed to be caught off guard by the sudden resignation, said: “I regret this unfortunate loss of a solid, consummate professional in the local government sector. Those remaining in the employ of the municipality must work harder with their councillors to meet the needs of the local community.”

Qoboshiyane said his department would support the metro to find another city manager and wished Msengana-Ndlela well.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish Dr Msengana-Ndlela best of luck in her future endeavors. The municipality - supported by the

department - will in due course announce an equally competent person to act as the municipal manager until a suitable candidate has filled the position,” Qoboshiyane said.

Msengana-Ndlela could not be immediately reached for comment.

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