Strong case against two managers, says Mettler

2010-07-29 00:00

D-DAY is looming for two senior managers who were suspended from their duties at the Msunduzi Municipality now that investigations against them have been completed.

Suspended chief financial officer Roy Brigmohan and suspended head of human resources Kevin Perumal are set to face the music come August 4 when they will appear before a disciplinary tribunal and respond to the allegations that have been levelled against them.

Asked what charges Perumal and Bridgmohan are facing and what allegations they have been asked to respond to, Msunduzi administrator Johann Mettler said he is not at liberty to disclose such information at this stage.

“The reason for this is that the relationship between employee and employer is a confidential one and I may be exposing the municipality and myself to a potential defamation suit,” said Mettler.

However, Mettler — who comes from a legal background — said he is certain that the municipality has a very strong case.

Said Mettler: “We are confident that each charge can not only be proved, but also that each one can result in a dismissal … I am satisfied that the nature of the evidence against them will result in a conviction.”

Asked what is likely to happen should the expected dismissals and convictions transpire, Mettler said it will be the responsibility of the person chairing the disciplinary tribunal to recommend suitable punishment or sentences.

The tribunal will be chaired by an independent official and the municipality will be represented by an evidence leader, who will speak on its behalf.

Mettler said the municipality is preparing to bring civil and criminal charges following advice it has received, but it has yet to decide on the best time to proceed.

“We are definitely not excluding the possibility of approaching [the South African Revenue Service] to perform lifestyle audits of the persons concerned.

“We will do whatever it takes to recover any funds that the municipality may have lost through the actions of the persons concerned,” he said.

Attempts to get comment from Bridgmohan and Perumal were not successful by the time of going to print.

Perumal and Bridgmohan are just two of the senior municipal officials who were suspended this year following allegations of fraud, maladministration, serious malpractice and corruption.

Officials who are still waiting to hear their fate are suspended procurement manager Francis Grantham, suspended acting public safety manager Kenny Chetty and suspended deputy municipal manager for community services Zwe Hulane.

Senior human resources manager Lulama Mbatha was the sixth official to be suspended early last month when she was found to be running a private business from her municipal office.

Said Mettler: “Investigations into allegations of misconduct against other officials on suspension are nearing completion and disciplinary tribunals will be constituted shortly.”

 

 

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