Msunduzi’s Phil Mashoko replies to employees' allegations

2008-09-18 00:00

Msunduzi Municipality strategic executive manager (SEM) for infrastructure services and facilities (IS&F), Phil Mashoko, has hit back at allegations made by his staff that he is an incompetent manager and a racist.

IS&F staff, who form the bulk of the municipal employees who participated in this week’s illegal strike, indicated that they want Mashoko sacked as SEM. They allege that Mashoko favours some departments within the same business unit above others.

Mashoko was not asked to be part of a meeting before the strike between council management and union representatives on Tuesday, where unions were expected to state their grievances.

The unions did not want him there because “they still had unfinished business with him”. However, the meeting did not take place because management refused to attend.

Speaking during the executive committee meeting for the first time about the allegations, Mashoko, who is originally from Zimbabwe, said union representatives came to his office on August 27 to demand a meeting. He said he could not meet the representatives at that time as he was rushing to another meeting, but urged them to make an appointment for the earliest available date. “The following day the staff had downed tools. I tried to address them, but they did not want to listen and pelted my car with stones. They told me to go back to Zimbabwe,” he said.

Mashoko said he has served the council with respect.

Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo said that Mashoko’s treatment by his staff is sad and xenophobic. She said that the municipality cannot function properly if it succumbs to the pressures of its employees.

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