Hadebe won’t be missed

2019-09-09 15:24
There is a strong push within ANC ranks to give Sizwe Hadebe the municipal manager post.

There is a strong push within ANC ranks to give Sizwe Hadebe the municipal manager post. (Ian Carbutt)

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Opposition parties in Msunduzi have welcomed the news that Sizwe Hadebe is finally set to vacate the City boss’ office.

This comes after council last week agreed on a three-month salary settlement on his resignation with immediate effect. The settlement stems from his year-long disciplinary process that failed to reach its conclusion even though the municipality had spent about R1 million on legal fees.

He was facing allegations related to contravening the City’s recruitment and supply chain management policies.

Opposition parties opposed Hadebe’s 2016 secondment as the acting municipal manager as well as his appointment on a five-year contract in December 2017. They said both were irregular as they flouted the relevant regulations, including the Municipal Systems Act.

The IFP’s Thinasonke Ntombela said Hadebe might have been undergoing a disciplinary process alone but everyone knew that there was political interference in the decisions he made.

“Maybe if the disciplinary process was concluded he would have implicated those who influenced his decisions, but now it’s up to him to continue carrying the cross alone, or find other avenues to ensure that the others also bear the brunt of what happened,” he said.

Ntombela said Msunduzi needed to start the process of finding a suitably qualified manager to head its administration. He said whoever got the job would have a lot on their plate as they would be inheriting some of the problems, such as financial instability.

He said the IFP would be holding the City administrator, Sibusiso Sithole, to his commitment that criminal charges of financial misconduct would be pursued against Hadebe. “The money that was wasted during his dealings was the ratepayers’ and they want to see the law take its course.”

His sentiments were echoed by DA caucus leader Sibongiseni Majola, who said Hadebe might not have lost in the internal disciplinary process but that did not mean he was innocent. “We feel that the settlement between him and Msunduzi is fair and it’s in the best interest of the municipality because the City still has the right to charge him criminally and recover the monies ... like the irregular salary increment that the former mayor [Themba Njilo] signed off on without a council resolution,” said Majola.

He said as much as the settlement set a bad precedent, Hadebe’s disciplinary proceedings turned out to be a waste of money because processes were not done according to the regulations.

“Our concern is that since he has not been found guilty of financial misconduct, he is still eligible to apply for a job at any government institution … We blame the ANC caucus for all of this because we warned them against hiring him when we found out about how he left Ekurhuleni Municipality, but they would not listen,” said Majola.

ACDP councillor Rienus Niemand said “buying” Hadebe out of the City was an easy way of making sure that he did not implicate anyone who was involved in illegal activities.

“This was to get him out of the way before he started singing because they knew he could take a lot of powerful people down with him.

“He is now free to go and find a job anywhere he likes, because he has not been found guilty.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  sizwe hadebe

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