A spanner has been thrown into the works regarding the process to appoint a new municipal manager for Msunduzi.A person from the three-member selection panel has withdrawn. It is believed that interviews with candidates were postponed when uMshwati municipal manager Nhlanhla Mabaso stepped down from the panel last week. Sources close to the proceedings said Mabaso felt the appointment, believed to have been earmarked for acting city manager Sizwe Hadebe, was marred in “controversy and irregularities”. Attempts to get comment from Mabaso were unsuccessful. Messages were left at his office but he did not return the calls by the time of going to print.An insider told The Witness Hadebe was shortlisted while his matric certificate and senior managers’ certificates had not been verified.A copy of Hadebe’s curriculum vitae which he allegedly used to apply for the job (and which The Witness has seen a copy of) does not appear to have the two documents attached.IFP caucus leader Thinasonke Ntombela said the withdrawal would cause further delays. “It will take some time for them to find a replacement. The replacement will also need the approval of a full council.” Full council only sits once a month.“If they were serious about this, they would call a special council to deal with this matter.”Ntombela accused the ANC of delay tactics to make sure that Hadebe remained at the helm of the municipality beyond the end of his acting term, which is due to conclude at the end of November.“We are going towards the end of October already and the selection panel has not started with its work. The problem is that they [the ANC] are divided among themselves.”Hadebe’s acting appointment was extended until the end of November — the deadline that MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube gave to Msunduzi mayor Themba Njilo to appoint a permanent City manager.The municipality has not had a permanent accounting officer since the removal of Mxolisi Nkosi in early 2016.At that time, municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the selection panel responsible for the appointment of the city manager was being established in a bid to speed up the interviews and eventual appointment.But sources said that since Mabaso’s withdrawal from the panel, the process has been delayed “yet again”.Deputy provincial leader of the DA Mergan Chetty said Mabaso’s withdrawal was a “clear indication” that factional fighting in the ANC is further hindering service delivery in the city. “Just as Msunduzi speaker Jabu Ngubo is alleged to have fallen out of favour with the Dlamini-Zuma camp, Mabaso’s withdrawal can be seen in the same light. “He is very well aware of the consequences of sitting on this panel and appointing Hadebe ... I also wouldn’t want to be linked to that appointment,” Chetty said. Attempts to get hold of Njilo were also unsuccessful. He, along with deputy mayor Thobani Zulu, are believed to have made up the two other members of the selection panel.