Mettler gets power to suspend managers

2010-04-15 00:00

THE executive committee (Exco) of the Msunduzi council has been given the power to suspend deputy municipal managers.

A special sitting of the full council yesterday agreed to a request, tabled by Mayor Mike Tarr, from administrator Johann Mettler for Exco to receive such powers.

The request was approved, but full council will get these powers back once the provincial intervention has been concluded.

In effect, this gives Mettler the authority to suspend senior managers because he assumes Exco’s powers in light of the intervention legislation, said council speaker Babu Baijoo.

Mettler and Exco now have the power to:

• Suspend the municipal manager along with any deputy municipal manager, where necessary;

• Temporarily appoint an acting municipal manager and any acting deputy municipal managers;

• Organise and process disciplinary, criminal and/or any criminal proceedings against managers;

• Recommend disciplinary sanctions against any manager to full council for a final decision; and

• Incur any reasonable costs.

Democratic Alliance caucus leader Bill Lambert said his party’s position on the matter is clear: “Once the administrator and his task team have begun their investigations… and discover any suggestions of impropriety, then disciplinary proceedings must begin and full legal processes must be initiated”. Lambert said there can be no ambiguity on this issue. “There has been complete disregard of the MFMA [Municipal Finance Management Act], and we have discovered uncontrolled spending”.

Attempts to obtain comment from Inkatha Freedom Party caucus leader Dolo Zondi were not successful last night.

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