Suspension follows award

2015-07-28 09:49

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THE Umzinyathi District Municipality council has suspended its acting municipal manager a few weeks after he won a municipal excellence award.

Thami Malunga won a bronze certificate at the KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s excellence awards for best performing municipalities two weeks ago.

Early this year, and under his leadership, the Umzinyathi Municipality, based at Dundee, also received an unqualified audit.

The reason for his suspension was not immediately clear and sources in the council said his suspension came “out of the blue”.

The charges against him were allegedly not detailed either at full council or at executive committee (Exco) confidential meetings.

A source within the council said his suspension related partly to the spending on security and purchase of guns for the municipality, but this could not be confirmed.

“Everyone in that municipality now has protection. This added security was not budgeted for or approved by council. It is not in the organogram.

“There are also guns that were bought for these extra security officials. There is no council resolution that I am aware of that approved these two things.”

The source alleged that council wrote a letter to Malunga demanding an explanation. “He failed to respond within the stipulated seven days. That is how they got a chance to suspend him,” said the source.

IFP councillor and Exco member Mbangiseni Yengwa compared the suspension to a kangaroo court.

“We sat under a tree and someone shouted that Malunga had been rude to council and he should be suspended and he was suspended.”

He said as the opposition party, they were not against Malunga being suspended if he had done wrong. “There are rules and procedures in place to carry out these suspensions. We should have followed them and done our job properly.”

Yengwa said he was not certain why Malunga was suspended, “There is nothing in the agenda that details the charges. Even in the confidential items.”

Attempts to reach Malunga and Mayor James Mthethwa on the phone numbers provided were unsuccessful.

Isaac Mtshali, public relations officer of the municipality, said Malunga had been suspended on July 20.

He said this was now a legal matter and, “Therefore we are not allowed to comment about it.”

The Witness understands that Malunga’s lawyers have challenged the suspension and a special council meeting would be convened tomorrow to discuss the matter.
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  municipality

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