‘Hands off City acting MM’

2018-10-11 15:45
Opposition sides with acting municipal manager while ANC wants her gone.

Opposition sides with acting municipal manager while ANC wants her gone.

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The ANC caucus is divided on whether the chief financial officer Neli Ngcobo should continue to act as the municipal manager while Sizwe Hadebe is on suspension.

However, the opposition parties said there was nothing that warrants her removal as they recognised her efforts in trying to steer the City in the right direction.

Ngcobo was appointed acting municipal manager when Hadebe was suspended on August 2. The proposal to remove her apparently came up at a recent ANC caucus meeting where an argument ensued with some councillors expressing dissatisfaction with her.

“The proposal came out of nowhere so most people were shocked because we were not expecting it,” said an ANC councillor who was at the meeting.

“We are not saying she is a saint but if someone has done something wrong then you have to bring the allegations to the caucus and then we will take it from there but there was nothing of the sort,” he said.

Another councillor said they suspected that Ngcobo had irked some leaders of the ruling party by refusing to be pushed around.

He said in the previous meetings some councillors had challenged her and she stood her ground.

“She’s obviously not going to allow any looting to take place under her watch and those that are benefiting from stealing from the City’s coffers are not pleased.”

The opposition parties said they would not entertain the ANC’s factional fights and attempts to divert the focus from the Hadebe matter.

They said they wanted the disciplinary hearings to be concluded timeously so that a decision could be made on his fate.

“We are waiting for the outcome of the hearings so that we can move onto the next stage of ensuring that the corrupt members of this council are charged so that they can face the consequences,” said EFF councillor Prince Duma.

His sentiments were echoed by the ACDP’s Rienus Niemand who said they would not allow the ANC’s internal squabbles to undermine Ngcobo’s efforts to stabilise the municipality.

“The people of this City deserve honest and clean governance and we can see that the team that she’s working with is trying to do that. She’s also restored some culture of accountability. We are not saying she’s perfect but we can see that she’s trying and that more than what we’ve had in the past two years,” he said.

DA caucus leader Sibongiseni Majola said Ngcobo had not done anything to warrant her removal.

“We are not going to allow the ANC to play mind games with us. We want this city to be stable and fighting over acting positions is not going to help anyone, in fact it might just drag us back to where we were before she took over,” he said.

Majola said Ngcobo should not be expected to perform miracles as she could not have been able to undo the damage of more than two years within the two months she’s been in office.

Commenting on the latest developments on the VBS Bank, Majola said Ngcobo and her finance team should be commended for their bold stand against moving the Msunduzi’s funds to the bank, which has now folded.

“The municipality would be in serious financial trouble right now if they didn’t stand up against the pressures and threats they faced over VBS Bank,” he said.

IFP’s Thinasonke Ntombela said it was childish to fight over acting positions and Ngcobo should be allowed to continue.

He said if there were allegations of misconduct against her then processes should be followed to investigate them but she should not be removed just because she challenged the status quo.

“With regards to VBS Bank, I think the municipality should investigate those who were adamant that we must transfer all the council’s funds.

“It’s possible that they might have received some kickbacks.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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