The search for the new City boss has started and opposition parties are hopeful that political interference will not taint this critical appointment as it should mark a new dawn for Msunduzi.Msunduzi has advertised the position, which became vacant following the recent resignation of Sizwe Hadebe. This came as part of the deal that included a three-month salary settlement after council resolved to terminate the “costly” disciplinary action against him before it reached its conclusion.The City is looking for someone with a degree in either public or business administration, political science or law, but a postgraduate qualification is recommended. The candidate must also have a certificate in municipal finance management or to get it within 18 months of the appointment.They must have at least seven years of experience at senior management, preferable in the public sector.The DA’s Sibongiseni Majola said they were relieved that the “dark era of Hadebe” was finally over because Msunduzi could now rebuild the departments that were crippled by maladministration and political interference.Majola said he had already asked the administrator, Sibusiso Sithole, to consider availing himself for the position City manager.“We need someone with the capacity to manage the municipality of this size and not be bullied by politicians who want to interfere with the administration. Sithole managed the eThekwini Metro and the municipality even got a clean audit under his reign.“If we can’t get Sithole — and I don’t know if the former municipal manager, Mxolisi Nkosi, will consider coming back — then we need someone with their qualities of strong leadership and a backbone,” said Majola.He warned the ANC that the DA would be watching the process of short-listing and appointment very closely because they did not want another irregular appointment like Hadebe’s.“In the meantime, the acting City manager [Nelisiwe Ngcobo] must be allowed to go back to her permanent job as the head of finance because moving her from there has created a huge gap in one of the municipality’s critical units.“Sithole should captain the ship while the appointment of the municipal manager is pending.”Thinasonke Ntombela of the IFP echoed Majola’s sentiments on Sithole being the man for City boss’ chair.He said he hoped the ANC learned its lessons from the Hadebe debacle when it comes to prioritising political affiliations over someone’s capabilities.“Cadre deployment is the reason we are in this mess. The City needs someone who would not be manipulated by his comrades to take decisions that are not in the best interest of this municipality. We also don’t want someone who has caused a mess somewhere else; Msunduzi is not a dumping ground,” said Ntombela.ACDP’s Rienus Niemand said candidates with shady pasts should not be considered for the position. He said Msunduzi needed a leader whose ethics were not questionable and who could separate themselves from the political drama.“We don’t want a political appointment, that would be a recipe for another disaster.”He said he was hopeful about the future of Msunduzi because the same officials that gave the City a clean audit in the 2014/2015 financial year were still there. “They just need a strong, honest and ethical leader who will stand up against political interference.”ANC regional task team leader Thulani “Two Ways” Xulu said Msunduzi needed someone who had the relevant qualifications and did not have a shady past.“We have a new leadership at the City Hall and now we need someone capable to provide proper administrative leadership,” he said.“If you’ve messed up elsewhere, don’t come here because we don’t want someone to mess up Msunduzi when we are in a process to restore it to its former glory of clean governance and a functioning municipality.”Xulu said the recruitment process would be fair and there would be no political interference.