Endumeni manager in dark

2013-07-02 00:00

ENDUMENI’s suspended municipal manager Thabani Biyela is still in the dark about what his future holds.

He was suspended in April following the Municipal Public Accounts Committee’s (MPAC) recommendation after it had investigated allegations that Biyela had misrepresented himself when he applied for his position.

He allegedly could not produce evidence for his master’s degree in public administration and failed to notify the council about a dispute he had with his previous employer before he took the job with the municipality.

However, Biyela told The Witness yesterday that his contract stipulates that should he be suspended for whatever reason, hearings should be conducted within 60 days. Failing to do this would mean that he could return to work.

The 60 days after he was suspended lapsed on June 18, and no hearing had been instituted.

Biyela then wrote to Mayor Thulani Mahaye informing him of this, and asked to be given a letter calling him back to work within seven days.

“Their seven days lapsed on Friday. The mayor and speaker ignored my letter, so I decided to go back to work today [Monday] only to find that my office has been occupied by an acting manager deployed by Cogta,” said Biyela.

He said the matter has been politicised, hence the delays in finding a solution.

“The correct procedures were not followed. This has affected my career negatively and drained me tremendously,” said Biyela.

He said various people from various political parties who form the MPAC were responsible for his troubles.

Sources within the municipality are adamant that Biyela was suspended because he failed to recommend a R20 million roads and construction tender to council for approval. He had apparently found irregularities with the tender.

Mahaye confirmed that Biyela had written letters to his office and to the speaker.

“The letters were received but we need to tread carefully on this matter. There’s a clause that makes reference to the 60-day period in his contract and all these will be discussed tomorrow by the municipality and legal representatives from Cogta. At this stage the matter is sub-judice.

“With regards to the tender allegation I have tasked people to investigate the matter and I should be getting a report by next week,” said Mahaye.

A Cogta spokesperson confirmed that an acting manager was deployed at the municipality.

He could not deny nor confirm the presence of their officials at tomorrow’s meeting.

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