Manager ‘ran private business’

2010-06-26 00:00

YET another senior manager employed by the Msunduzi Municipality has been suspended, this time for flouting council rules.

Senior human resources manager Lulama Mbatha is now the sixth senior official to be suspended and may face formal charges.

City hall insiders say Mbatha was escorted out of the building by municipal security earlier this month.

This after she was allegedly busted for operating her private business from her office.

Weekend Witness has been told Mbatha was allegedly running a tutoring business on the side.

Allegations are that Mbatha was using municipal resources such as making photocopies and phone calls for the benefit of her private business.

Earlier last month, The Witness reported that the administration team was clamping down on moonlighting by full-time employees of the municipality.

This after they received countless complaints from members of the public who said some municipal workers were not attending to them timeously because they were being distracted by their private jobs.

It was decided that those who want to do private work outside of their normal municipal duties first have to apply and get written approval from the municipal manager.

Such approval would only be granted on the basis that private work would take place outside of council working hours and that municipal resources would not be used for such private work.

Regarding Mbatha’s suspension, Msunduzi administrator Johann Mettler issued the following statement: “This is part of our ongoing investigations into malpractices within the municipality. We hope to formulate formal charges soon and will comment on the substance of the allegations at that time. In the event that there are others, we will uncover and bring them to book.”

Asked for comment, Mbatha stated the following: “I can’t comment at this stage because I don’t know the nature of the charges”.

Mbatha joins deputy municipal manager for community services Zwe Hulane, procurement manager Francis Grantham, deputy municipal manager for human resources Kevin Perumal, chief financial officer Roy Bridgmohan and acting public safety manager Kenny Chetty on the list of suspended managers who are still waiting to be charged by Mettler and his team.

Last year, Mbatha was seconded to Oribi Airport after there was strong support for her to become the airport manager.

However, sources allege that her stint was short-lived because she was not qualified or experienced enough to succeed in the position.

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