City CFO ‘being disciplined’

2018-01-04 13:30

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Msunduzi Municipality CFO Nelisiwe Ngcobo was on Wednesday served with a notice of intention to suspend her amid claims she was being disciplined for frustrating attempts by ANC bosses to access the council’s coffers.

Ngcobo, who confirmed to The Witness that municipal bosses had served her with a notice of intention to suspend her, is said to have disobeyed instructions from City bosses to “immediately” make payment to certain service providers contracted to the City.

A source within the municipality said, “The instruction was given from ANC leaders in the Moses Mabhida region shortly after it was announced that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had been defeated by Cyril Ramaphosa. The regional leaders gave the instructions while at the ANC elective conference in Johannesburg.”

The CFO’s suspension came after the municipal committee that runs council during the local government’s recess periods had endorsed a decision by City bosses to suspend her.

Ngcobo’s alleged failure to ensure that the municipality had enough reserves, was presented to the committee as motivation for her suspension.

“She is an employee and not a municipal manager or a mayor. She can’t be expected to make decisions on the amount of money the council is supposed to invest. In any case where is she supposed to get money for reserves when the municipality is even struggling to pay its own workers?

“It was just an excuse to justify her suspension so that they could bring in a person who would carry out the ANC bosses’ demands,” the source said.

According to another source, ANC leaders in the region who are concerned about losing control of municipal tenders in the wake of Ramaphosa’s election, are currently in a drive to raise money to fund their campaign to block the new ANC leader’s supporters from being elected to key positions in the region.

It also had been alleged that the service providers that the ANC leaders wanted to be paid, were linked to powerful party bosses in the region.

ANC regional spokesperson, Sphamandla Khumalo, said he was not aware of any instructions around the payment of services providers issued by ANC regional leaders to either the municipality or Ngcobo in particular.

“In fact, the ANC does not deal with municipality officials. We don’t know where those making the outrageous claims are getting their information from. We also want to put it on record that there is no regional conference in Moses Mabhida,” he said.

Ngcobo, who appears to be on the cusp of being suspended for the second time in less than 12 months, declined to confirm the real reasons for her proposed suspension.

“I’m not allowed to deal with the media, you must contact the municipal manager for comment,” she said.

The CFO, who was on leave when she was served with the notice, had been given seven days to give reasons why she should not be suspended.

Acting municipal spokesperson Siyabonga Hlongwa declined to comment.

DA caucus leader Sibongiseni Majola said the official opposition was concerned Ngcobo’s suspension could lead to the collapse of the municipality.

“It is very clear that there is a lot that is happening behind closed doors. Msunduzi is facing a high risk of collapsing,” he said.

Majola said if the City really wanted to suspend Ngcobo over the City’s finances, City manager Sizwe Hadebe, should also be suspended.

“The CFO reports directly to the City manager and this poses questions about his ability to hold his general managers to account,” he said.

Msunduzi, which is rumoured to be on the verge of bankruptcy, had faced complaints of failing to pay contractors on time.

In May, several Msunduzi employees downed tools after the council had failed to pay their salaries on time.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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