Court battle over ‘unlawful’ R100K-a-month municipal manager

2012-06-15 07:27

A cash-strapped Eastern Cape municipality has been hauled before the Mthatha High Court over the alleged unlawful appointment of its new R100 000-a-month municipal manager.

Port St Johns Local Municipality’s new municipal manager, Ncedile Jakuja, mayor Mnyamezeli Mangqo, speaker Tandisizwe Khukula and Eastern Cape Local Government and Traditional Affairs MEC Mlibo

Qoboshiyane will today answer the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) claim that the appointment was irregular and unlawful.

DA councillor Mbongeni Kotana wants the Mthatha High Court to halt Jakuja’s appointment, which was made in February and later rubberstamped by Qoboshiyane.

Kotana said the council meeting at which Jakuja was appointed was irregularly convened as councillors were not given between seven and 14 days’ notification as required by law.

“The speaker just called councillors a few days before,” he said.

Among the contentious issues are that Jakuja’s corporate services office placed the advert and that he was also part of the interview panel.

Kotana claims Jakuja, an electrical engineer, is inexperienced and does not meet the requirements for the job.

He is in line for a R100 000-a-month salary, which Kotana says is too much for a category-B municipality.

The previous municipal manager, Zola Hewu, earned about R860 000 while Jakuja earned R724 000 as corporate services manager.

Hewu was suspended last year with former chief finance officer Zuko Mrwebi for alleged misconduct and poor performance.

The municipality has admitted that it has been facing financial difficulties which meant defaulting on payments.

Mangqo and Qoboshiyane did not respond to City Press enquiries.

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