City’s shock revelation

2015-04-01 00:00

AN employee of the Msunduzi Municipality has been on suspension for the past four years.

This was the shock revelation made by municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi yesterday.

Nkosi was responding to a question about suspensions posed by DA councillor Naleni Atwaru during the full council meeting.

She asked how many employees were on suspension and what their periods of suspension were.

The Witness reported yesterday that 50 employees had been suspended for unidentified offences.

It is understood the municipality’s marketing and communications manager Thobeka Mafumbatha was among those suspended.

Nkosi, however, said only 19 staff members had been suspended and the municipality had 90 days to carry out the disciplinary processes.

“Those processes are at different stages. There is only one staff member who has been on suspension since 2011 and there are legal processes about that,” he said.

The position the employee holds and the salary earned are unknown.

Nkosi also revealed that three municipal staff members were arrested for copper theft last week.

“We are waiting for the legal processes to be completed before we can begin disciplinary processes against them,” he said.

This comes as the municipality raised concerns about cable and electricity theft, which it said has cost the administration close to R1 billion.

The manager’s report tabled at council said the municipality had resolved to contact the National Prosecuting Authority because of concerns about lenient sentences being handed to copper thieves.

“Much of the losses are a consequence of copper theft and electricity theft in the form of illegal electricity connections.

“These have not only been crippling the Msunduzi Municipality, but have been crippling our entire country,” said the report.

The report said that lives were also being lost because of copper theft. Since 2013, 12 people had been killed by illegal connections and others were seriously injured, it continued.

Nkosi said the three employees arrested had not been suspended. “They were arrested on Friday and spent the weekend in jail and were meant to appear in court on Monday … We have not given them their letters of intention to suspend them.”

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