Ngcobo in line for top job

2017-07-27 13:41
Dr Ray Ngcobo.

Dr Ray Ngcobo. (File)

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Msunduzi's Dr Ray Ngcobo, general manager for Economic and Sustainable Development, may soon be the municipal manager for the uMgungundlovu District Municipality.

In an open council meeting with the district’s executive committee this week, it was revealed that in the interview process, Ngcobo scored the highest of the candidates and that the position would be offered to him this week.

But opposition parties have cried foul, saying they will be opposing his appointment come the full council meeting tomorrow.

According to the report presented to the district’s executive committee on Tuesday, Ngcobo scored 78,8 % in his interview results.

The other two candidates, Thabisile Ndlela and Felix Nxumalo, scored 76% and 69,4% respectively.

When contacted for comment on Wednesday, Ngcobo said he was not aware of the results of the interviews.

“All I can do is thank you for the news but I am honestly not aware of anything. I cannot comment further,” Ngcobo told The Witness.

The report, authored by the head of corporate services in the district and signed GH Bhengu, stated that the decision was made after a “rigorous” selection process and consideration of the screening results and competency assessment results. The report stated that the municipality had received confirmation that none of the three candidates appear on the record of staff members dismissed for misconduct.

The district’s DA caucus leader, Bongumusa Nhlabathi, said they were “extremely unhappy” with the selection panel and the chosen candidate.

“In a council meeting in May we voted against the selection panel as nobody from the opposition parties was on that panel. Without a councillor from the opposition, there is no proper oversight in the process,” he said.

He said that during the May council meeting, the IFP and EFF supported their vote against the selection panel.

“If a member of the opposition was on the selection panel, we would have asked the questions surrounding Dr Ray Ngcobo’s pending disciplinary hearings in Msunduzi. The fact that no one has raised this during this process and they have still selected him as the preferred candidate is a clear indication of what we call cadre deployment in the ANC,” said Nhlabathi.

  • Executive committee DA councillor Mike Bond said they would write to the Msunduzi Municipality acting city manager, Sizwe Hadebe, to establish the outcomes of Ngcobo’s disciplinary hearings.

“If he is guilty, he must be brought to book and not brought to the district,” Bond said.

When asked for an update or outcomes in the disciplinary cases against Ngcobo, Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said that issues of staff and discipline was an internal process between an employer and employee.

IFP executive committee councillor Bukelani Zuma said his party would not support the appointment because they believe the selection panel “was hiding something”.

“This is not even about Dr Ngcobo, it is about the selection panel not being transparent. Whoever the preferred candidate was, we would have opposed because we opposed to the selection panel initially,” Zuma said.

According to the report, should Ngcobo decline the position, the selection panel would have to reconvene. However, should he accept the offer, Ngcobo would assume duties in the district on September 1, 2017 on a fixed term contract until August 31, 2022.

Status of disciplinary hearing incomplete

DR Ray Ngcobo has disciplinary charges pending against him and the status of his disciplinary hearing remains incomplete.

He faces two charges of gross ­misconduct, two of gross dishonesty and one of gross negligence.

According to the charge sheet, which was leaked to The Witness, Ngcobo is accused of ordering furniture for the city’s Tourism Hub “without following the municipality’s supply chain management processes”.

He also allegedly paid close to R7 million to a company ostensibly contracted to provide temporary housing for the Jika Joe project, but which had not delivered on the contract.

Allied to those two charges, Ngcobo is accused of inciting other municipal staff to engage in ­unprocedural and unlawful conduct, financial misconduct, and of improperly using his ­position and influence.

He was also fingered as the subject of an investigation by the suspended head of the City’s internal audit committee, Petrus Mahlaba.

Recently The Witness also reported that Ngcobo was a possible candidate as the municipal manager for Msunduzi. 

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