Is Nkosi’s job on the line?

2016-03-04 10:51
Msunduzi Municipality city manager Mxolisi Nkosi

Msunduzi Municipality city manager Mxolisi Nkosi

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Pietermaritzburg - A secret urgent special full council ­meeting taking place on Friday has sparked a wave of speculation that this could be Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi’s last day in office before he is suspended.

Last week, Nkosi was given seven days to write to Mayor Chris Ndlela and state why he should not be suspended. This followed news that Co-operative Governance and ­Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube would investigate allegations of financial misconduct, non-performance and maladministration in the municipality under Nkosi’s watch.

A close source said today’s meeting would be closed to the press as the councillors would discuss just one confidential item.

The source said last week’s item where it was revealed that Cogta would investigate the municipality was also “supposed to be confidential”. Muddying the matter further, said the source, was a perception that the ANC’s motion for Nkosi to be suspended was illegal.

“Nkosi has now sought legal advice, and since this matter is between employer and employee, and should have been confidential, he can sue the municipality,” said the source.

Councillors said yesterday they were ­informed of an urgent full council meeting to take place today, but no agenda had been made available to them.

“This is the first time we have been called to a full council meeting without an agenda. Apparently there is only one item that will be discussed, and I suspect it is something to do with MM [Nkosi],” said a councillor who asked not to be named.

Another councillor said it was the first time they had not been given an agenda before a ­meeting in 15 years as a Msunduzi councillor, adding that he also suspected the meeting would discuss Nkosi’s status.

Municipal employees aligned to the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) said they would protest outside the city hall today in favour of Nkosi.

“People of Msunduzi are very disappointed over the decision that has been taken by the ANC-led council to get rid of the MM, who was doing so well. We will not register to vote in the upcoming elections,” said a Samwu member who would not be named.

Questions sent to both the municipal ­manager’s and mayor’s offices were not replied to, and both their phones were switched off yesterday.

Nkosi has been a popular municipal ­manager and was presented with an award by Cogta just eight months ago, for being the “Best Performing Municipal Manager in the Province”.

He has also been widely lauded for turning the municipality around, helping it obtain its first clean audit in years.

The surprise move by the governing ANC to suspend Nkosi for “financial misconduct” at a full council meeting last week has sent reverberations through the ­municipality.

Msunduzi acting spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said the council would conduct its own investigation into the alleged financial misconduct by Nkosi, and had directed the mayor to write to the municipal manager with an intention to suspend him.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za • sabelo.nsele@witness.co.za

Read more on:    msunduzi municipality  |  pietermaritzburg

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