Opposition demands Haswell report

2008-01-16 00:00

MSUNDUZI municipal manager, Rob Haswell has remained tight-lipped regarding a power struggle that emerged in his absence at the city hall, but opposition parties say he must account to council on the matter.

During Haswell’s absence while on leave last month, a special full council meeting disputed Haswell’s appointment of sound governance manager, Skhumbuzo Mpanza, as the acting municipal manager, as Haswell had not consulted a council member as a third party as stipulated in council policy.

Mpanza was suspended by full council for insubordination after he instructed support staff not to attend the special full council meeting. Strategic executive manager for Community Services, Zwelithini Hulane, was chosen to replace Mpanza in the acting position.

City Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo confirmed (while Haswell was still on leave) that Mpanza was the legitimate acting municipal manager, despite the full council resolution to suspend him. Hlatshwayo said that her stand was influenced by a legal opinion and Mpanza’s appointment letter drafted by Haswell before his leave.

Opposition parties say that Haswell has to account to council about the matter as it caused much confusion at the municipality. “We expect him to report to full council. He needs to tell council what actions he has instituted whether it be a disciplinary hearing or some form of inquiry about the matter,” said DA coucillor Mark Steele.

IFP caucus leader Dolo Zondi concurred, saying that there has to be disciplinary action taken against Mpanza as suggested by full council. “The actions taken by full council were all valid, but the problem that occurred about the two acting heads was embarrassing for council and Haswell must ensure that such incidents do not occur again,” said Zondi.

thabi@witness.co.za

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