Municipal manager in a fix

2013-04-10 00:00

THE future of Dundee-based Endumeni municipal manager Thabani Biyela hangs in the balance after the council took a decision to put him on precautionary suspension.

At its meeting last Thursday, the 12-member council resolved that mayor Thulani Mahaye serve Biyela with a precautionary suspension letter that gives him seven days to explain why he should not be suspended.

This comes after the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) recommended the action after it investigated allegations that Biyela had misrepresented himself when he applied for his position eight months ago.

The Witness understands that the MPAC investigated the manager’s qualifications after he allegedly could not produce evidence for his master’s degree in public administration and failed to notify the council about a dispute he had with his previous employer before he took the job with the municipality.

Biyela, who this week attended a workshop in Ladysmith, has yet to be served with the letter.

It is understood that a junior official went to deliver the letter on Monday, but Biyela allegedly declined to sign for it unless Mahaye himself serves it when he returns to work today.

The council’s speaker, Siduduzo Mdluli, confirmed yesterday to The Witness that the council had taken a decision to suspend Biyela.

He also confirmed that Mahaye was mandated to engage him on why he should not be suspended.

“That was discussed, but I’m not in a position to give out details except to say the mayor was mandated to engage the municipal manager,” Mdluli said.

Sources within the municipality said there was more than meets the eye on the decision to put Biyela on precautionary suspension.

An insider said that at the centre of Biyela’s suspension was a tender worth R20 million for roads construction, which Biyela had not yet recommended to council for approval after he had found irregularities with the tender.

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