3 deck head goes here here

2018-07-26 06:01

TWO heads of departments have been suspended at Umdoni Municipality following the firing of municipal manager Xolani Luthuli, who was axed last year.

It was initially thought that Siyabonga Mngadi, general manager of technical services, and Nolwazi Ncame, general manager of corporate services, had been “fired” following a special council meeting held at the municipality on Tuesday. However, it later became clear that the pair had been suspended with full pay.

The circumstances surrounding the suspension are unclear however inside sources revealed that the suspension was due to a “lack of co-operation with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta)” and “discrepancies in the Small Town Rehabilitation Programme”.

During the 2015/16 financial year, Cogta approved a R 12 million budget towards the project, of which R 6 million was transferred in support of phase one which would focus on the rehabilitation of roads, sidewalks, street lighting, street furnishing and park and public ablutions.

Cogta requested details regarding the project, such as tender documentation, progress and contractor appointment letters. These were not forthcoming.

The lack of sharing of information persisted and another meeting was called with Mngadi and Ncame. A lack of participation and project communication by Umdoni’s implementation team was noted and various documentation was once again requested by Cogta.

The required information ranged from proof of payments, cash flow, and schedules of site meetings to a revised business plan signed by the former manager, Luthuli. It was, once again, not received.

Furthermore, information which was received indicated that invoicing data was inadequate and did not indicate what was being paid for.

Lawyers have been appointed to conduct a forensic investigation into the matter. It has further been requested that an independent auditor be appointed to conduct this investigation.

Municipal mayor Thabani Dube confirmed that the two have been suspended and did not wish to divulge any more details.

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