Cool mind wanted for PMB

2016-06-01 13:36
Boniwe Zulu

Boniwe Zulu (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - In a twist of events, the Msunduzi council has decided against re-appointing the ­controversial Boniwe Zulu as the acting ­municipal manager, opting instead to have an independent local government expert ­seconded to the municipality.

Zulu had been appointed on a three-month term when municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi was suspended in March, in what was ascribed to ANC factional turmoil in the province.

Nkosi was suspended pending an ­investigation by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC ­Nomusa Dube-Ncube into alleged ­maladministration and financial misconduct.

The municipality also initiated its own probe into the allegations, but neither of the investigations has been concluded yet.

With Zulu’s term coming to an end this month, there had been confusion as to ­whether she would be retained as acting ­municipal manager, or if Nkosi, whose ­suspension ends soon, would be reinstated.

However, a special confidential full council meeting yesterday resolved that the council request Dube-Ncube to identify and second a suitably qualified independent local ­government expert to act as municipal ­manager from Friday, until the matter between Nkosi and the municipality is finalised.

Mayor Chris Ndlela was mandated to write a letter of request to Dube-Ncube.

Msunduzi spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said the executive committee had been ­mandated to finalise the appointment once Cogta had provided an official to act as the municipal manager.

Zulu’s tenure as acting municipal manager has been mired in controversy.

The Witness reported that together with other high-ranking officials, she had been ­fingered as being responsible for the alleged overpayment of almost R8,5 million to a local security company.

The council had appointed Zulu as acting municipal manager in March, although a ­report detailing the allegations against her was compiled in January and is believed to have been available to some members of the ­council. The Witness also reported that a ­performance assessment report had found ­Zulu wanting in her capacity as the deputy ­municipal manager of community services.

She had failed to meet the performance ­targets she signed off on in the past two ­financial years, and it was ordered that she go for performance counselling.

IFP councillor Dolo Zondi said it was “deeply hurting” that the ANC was using its majority in the council to “mess up” the municipality.

“This will break the municipality. We are heading back towards the period of ­administration. The ANC is taking their ­infighting to the municipality.

“You have to ask yourself why Zulu was made the acting municipal manager in the first place because she is not performing well in her department.”

DA whip Rodger Ashe said they supported the resolution that Cogta sources and seconds a municipal manager.

“It has always been our position and we ­believe it would have been better if this was done in the first place.”

NFP councillor Ntokozo Zondi said the party welcomed the decision by the municipality.

“This will bring stability to Msunduzi. Since Nkosi was suspended, there had been no ­stability in the municipality.

“We have seen illegal tactics here where people have been fired without any valid ­reasons. It shows that people were fighting personal vendettas.

“Getting someone from outside is not such a bad idea.

“This will enable the municipality to ­continue supplying services,” he said.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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