Mngadi fights back

2008-08-26 00:00

FORMER uMgungundlovu District municipal manager Monica Mngadi and her chief financial officer, Bongani Ndlovu, have taken legal steps against the municipality claiming they were constructively dismissed.

The pair resigned earlier this year amid allegations of financial mismanagement and maladministration.

Mngadi’s six-month tenure as manager was clouded by doubts over her qualifications — including a questionable honorary doctorate obtained from a Bible college and a one-day MBA degree.

According to sources, the matter is before the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). Conciliation efforts have reportedly failed and the matter has gone to arbitration.

The municipality has fielded criticism over a number of controversies, including a R1,3 million donation to Nafcoc and the payment of more than R3 million to an unregistered company, African Influence.

At the beginning of the year, media reports highlighted skyrocketing over-expenditure and allegations that there was no money to pay for phone and fax services. The payment of salaries was also allegedly under threat.

The Provincial Treasury and the KZN Department of Local Government stepped in and in February Mngadi and Ndlovu resigned. Two months later, the council passed a vote of no confidence in the mayor, Bongi Sithole, and in April, MPL Yusuf Bhamjee was sworn in as mayor to replace Sithole.

Yesterday, after 82 days in office, Bhamjee and his management team held a press briefing to explain how far they have come in putting matters right.

The Witness took the opportunity to find out about the legal challenge from Mngadi and Ndlovu.

Acting district municipal manager Sibusiso Khuzwayo confirmed that the matter is with the CCMA, but refused to say more.

Khuzwayo, who was seconded to the municipality from the Local Government Department, elaborated on the district municipality’s achievements, including curtailing expenditure and putting systems into place.

“When we got here the IT system had been down for months — there was no e-mail or fax. The organisation was completely dysfunctional,” said Khuzwayo.

He said he is sure the municipality will get a clean audit from the Auditor-General this year, “because we invited the A-G to assist us in ensuring that we comply with financial systems and the legislation”.

On the Nafcoc donation and Africa Influence payment, the media were told the issues were dealt with in a provincial treasury investigation, and a report would be tabled at a council meeting early next month.

Attempts to get comment from Mngadi were unsuccessful.

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