Former mayor quits district

2008-06-30 00:00

Bongi Sithole has resigned as a councillor with immediate effect and has left the district.

The beleaguered former mayor of the uMgungundlovu District Council was ousted from the municipality in April after a vote of no confidence and was demoted to an ordinary councillor.

Sithole’s resignation was announced at a full council sitting last Friday. Acting municipal manager Sibusiso Khuzwayo confirmed that he received Sithole’s resignation letter. Khuzwayo said Sithole tendered her resignation on June 9, but could not be drawn on the reasons.

The former mayor’s abandonment of her last link with the municipality was met with mixed feelings from opposition parties.

DA caucus leader Sizwe Mchunu said although it was unexpected, they were not surprised. “Stepping down was the logical thing for [Sithole] to do. We have not found out the reasons for it, but it was with immediate effect. As the DA, we welcome her resignation,” said Mchunu.

Patrick Bhengu of the IFP said there are some questions about the district’s misuse of money that still need to be answered.

“We want light to be shed on the matter regarding the R1,3 million and Nafcoc, the matter of the municipal monies that just disappeared,” said Bhengu.

He said answers should be provided as well for the sale of the property bought by the municipality at 176 Langalibalele (Longmarket) Street, where KZN businessman Lucky Moloi, property agent Neville Watts, and Msunduzi councillors Themba Zungu and Alpha Shelembe, were arrested by the Scorpions, and in which Sithole was allegedly implicated.

Bhengu added that Sithole “leaving under a cloud” leads him to question whether she wanted to leave or “was pushed”.

District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee wished Sithole well “in her future endeavours”.

Under Sithole’s leadership, the municipality was investigated for alleged gross mismanagement of council funds. This came to a head when a R1,3 million donation was given to the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (Nafcoc) allegedly via Moloi.

PriceWaterHouseCoopers was tasked to investigate the matter and, in its findings, they alleged that Moloi was Sithole’s boyfriend.

Following this debacle was the appointment of Monica Mngadi to the position of municipal manager. Mngadi was reported to be unqualified for the position.

thandom@witness.co.za

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