City councillors pleased as Hadebe is suspended

2018-07-24 15:45
The Msunduzi council resolved to place City boss Sizwe Hadebe on precautionary suspension on Monday.

The Msunduzi council resolved to place City boss Sizwe Hadebe on precautionary suspension on Monday. (Ian Carbutt)

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It's been a long time coming, but Msunduzi’s councillors finally succeeded on their third attempt to get City manager Sizwe Hadebe placed on precautionary suspension on Monday.

Hadebe is facing allegations of flouting supply chain and recruitment policies. A group of aggrieved ANC members picketed outside the city hall on Monday where a special full council meeting had been convened to discuss Hadebe’s fate.

Joyous screams of “Amandla!” echoed through Chief Albert Luthuli and Church streets when the news came that council had rescinded its June decision not to suspend Hadebe pending an investigation.

Monday’s resolution apparently emanates from an instruction from the ANC provincial leadership.

Speaking to The Witness after the meeting, Mayor Themba Njilo said the resolution came after he tabled a report containing the recommendations of the new independent investigator, Sithembelo Mhlanga of Mhlanga Attorneys.

“I will brief him [Hadebe] on the resolution of the council and then he will have seven days to give reasons why he believes he should not be suspended,” he said.

Njilo rejected allegations that he had been protecting Hadebe. “It’s not up to me who gets suspended or who doesn’t. I can’t suspend a municipal manager without a council resolution and without following due process,” he said.

Opposition parties and some ANC councillors were ecstatic over the decision to suspend Hadebe.

“Although really belated, this is wonderful news. The bells in the city hall’s clock tower are pealing with joy. At long last this badly managed, broken down and beleaguered city can start its way to recovery,” said veteran DA councillor Bill Lambert.

ACDP’s Reinus Niemand and IFP councillor Thinasonke Ntombela said they are encouraged by the decision because it is a vindication of their original proposal to suspend Hadebe.

“This is only the tip of the iceberg. We are confident that the investigation will be the start of exposing the endemic corruption that permeates the ANC government in Msunduzi,” said Niemand.

DA caucus leader Sibongiseni Majola said while they welcomed Hadebe’s suspension, they want all those implicated in the scandalous audio clips to be charged. Audio recordings have been made public of jobs-for-pals deals being made, allegedly by Hadebe.

“He was not on his own so if we want to really deal with corruption in this City, all those involved must be held accountable.

“Soon the mayor will also be subjected to the Municipal Systems Act, which speaks of the code of conduct of councillors because of the manner he has handled this matter,” he said.

Majola said the terms of reference for Mhlanga do not include the contravention of recruitment processes during the hiring of former DA councillor Clive Lotz.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  sizwe hadebe

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