Married to four, then suspended from his job

2009-10-02 00:00

THE manager of the struggling Indaka Municipality in Weenen has been suspended after R650 000 was spent on a mayor’s funeral.

Milton Mbhele was on honeymoon when the council made the decision to suspend him on Monday, after he had married four women simultaneously at the weekend.

He heard about the suspension on Wednesday when he arrived back — and was escorted out of the municipal offices by two security guards.

The IFP’s political oversight committee for the council was in a meeting all day yesterday to discuss this issue.

In June the council accepted a resolution asking Mbhele to organise a “proper” funeral for Phumlani Mpungose, which would suit his “status as political head of the council”, speaker Sibusiso Mbatha said yesterday.

He said Mbhele asked the council how much a “proper” funeral would cost, but they couldn’t give him an answer.

As a result, a committee of council members was chosen to help Mbhele organise the funeral. Mbatha said thousands of people attended Mpungose’s funeral.

The road to Mpungose’s home, in a remote part of the area, was graded and made safe for vehicles.

However, Mbatha wasn’t able to say which aspect of the funeral was the most expensive. The council decided on Monday to appoint a private investigator to unravel the case.

However, by yesterday, according to Mbatha, it was still not certain whether the investigation is being conducted for the purposes of a disciplinary hearing, since the council decided to suspend Mbhele in his absence.

“He didn’t have the chance to tell his side of the story.”

Mbhele himself did not want to comment yesterday.

According to reports, his wedding on Sunday cost him about R150 000, including 32 cattle for lobola, and eight cattle slaughtered for the wedding feast.

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