Dundee kicks out manager

2014-03-28 00:00

A SUSPENDED municipal manager who took over the Endumeni (Dundee) Municipality after an armed coup last December was kicked out of office yesterday.

All decisions that Thabani Biyela took during his illegal term of office have been declared null and void, including a decision to allegedly pay huge acting allowances to officials he appointed during this period.

The Witness reported in December that the sitting municipal manager, advocate Reshwant Brijraj, was beaten by a panga-wielding gang.

Brijraj was beaten in full view of council staff and fled for his life. He was treated in hospital for his injuries. Biyela then assumed the municipal manager’s position.

On Wednesday, a special council meeting was called to remove Biyela from office. The meeting was held in-committee and Biyela was not present. According to sources, councillors were told that his suspension stood and that his disciplinary hearing would continue.

A letter in this regard, sent to the council by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said that Biyela had no authority to act as municipal manager since he was suspended.

“Therefore any act by Mr Biyela as the municipal manager shall be rendered invalid due to his suspended status at the time,” she said.

Dube-Ncube said that Brijraj was reinstated as municipal manager with immediate effect, as he was deployed there by Cogta, and that an investigation into his assault, allegedly by municipal staff, would be conducted.

The Dundee council has been bitterly split between rival ANC factions, with Biyela backed by one faction and Brijraj by the other.

Neither Brijraj nor Biyela could be reached for comment yesterday.

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