Attack on PMB rescue

2010-10-15 00:00

A CONCERTED effort to undermine the credibility of the turnaround team attempting to put Msunduzi back on a sound footing has been launched in the form of a smear pamphlet.

The document, which The Witness has in its possession, has been circulated widely in various municipal departments.

The Witness understands that it has become a topic of discussion in the municipality and that most of the more than 4 000 council employees have either seen it or heard about it.

The document was even slid under the office doors of certain members of the task team. However, no one seems to know where the document came from or who might be behind it. Leaders in the municipality have rubbished the document’s contents as hogwash and labelled it as a smear campaign.

The pamphlet makes claims of political collusion and even implies that sexual favours are being traded for jobs.

The document alleges that while certain managers have been suspended for wrongdoing, others have escaped the same fate by providing the intervention team with inside information.

It also claims that some members of the intervention team are colluding with the Democratic Alliance in order to discredit the ANC, and the intervention team’s turnaround strategy “is the exact replica of the DA’s 10- point plan to turn the municipality around”.

The DA plan was announced some time after the turnaround strategy was launched.

Further allegations against the DA are that it is involved in a contract for renting a well-known building that was meant to have been terminated by the intervention team but still remains in place.

Allegations of sexual affairs between members of the intervention team and municipal staffers are also referred to, as is the promotion of supposedly unqualified workers to more senior posts as reward for being informants of the intervention team.

The threat of retrenchments also finds its way into the document, with claims that municipal staffers are demoralised after being warned that 35% of them will be without jobs by year end.

DA caucus leader Bill Lambert said the allegations are “absolutely untrue” and “libellous”.

Msunduzi administrator Johann Mettler said he is aware of the document and as far as he is concerned, it was circulated anonymously.

“Frankly, that’s part of a smear campaign in order to derail the intervention and take our eye off the ball. But it will not destroy our efforts,” he promised.

Mettler said he has no intention of trying to find out who penned the document because there are more pressing matters to attend to.

Said Mettler: “We are making significant strides. This just confirms that we are doing a good job.”

Co-operative Governance Department spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said: “Anybody with allegations has the option of approaching the MEC so they can be investigated, but our primary priority is ensuring that the municipality turns around for the benefit of the residents of Msunduzi.”

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