IFP cries foul in KZN municipal manager's selection

2017-07-13 18:26
IFP press conference on alleged corruption in Umkhanyakude District Municipality. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

IFP press conference on alleged corruption in Umkhanyakude District Municipality. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Durban – The selection of a municipal manager in the Umkhanyakude District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal was "deeply flawed and unlawful", the IFP said on Thursday.

The municipality used intimidation to remove four other candidates, and they dropped out of the running for the position at the eleventh hour in February, party caucus spokesperson Velenkosini Hlabisa alleged at a press briefing.

"Something else is going on here. All these people besides one drop out? And then they select him into the position. This is not correct," Hlabisa said.

Sibusiso Bukhosini was the only candidate to apply for the job at the beleaguered municipality. It had been under administration three times in a row since August 2015, with little improvement in service delivery. The position of municipal manager had been vacant for 18 months.

Hlabisa said opposition parties reported the alleged intimidation. Co-operative governance MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube intervened and the selection and interview process began afresh in March. However, it was still flawed, he said.

A panel conducted interviews in April and again recommended Bukhosini for the position. This was despite him scoring less than another candidate during the interview process.

In the second process, Bukhosini mentioned Umkhanyakude mayor Solomon Mkhombo as a reference in his CV. Mkhombo was chairperson of the panel that interviewed Bukhosini, Hlabisa said.

"Can you tell me how this is possible? You used to work with someone somewhere else before and now they are part of the process to elect you? This is not fair."

Hlabisa said Mkhombo did not disclose his relationship with Bukhosini.

Mkhombo told News24 that the selection of a municipal manager, which began in 2016, was restarted due to technicalities. The second time, candidates dropped out "without any duress".

"Some sent messages saying they are unwilling, while others said they could not make the interview. We interviewed one candidate and it happened to be Mr Bukhosini."

Bukhosini performed better in his psychometric test than the other candidates.

"While he scored slightly lower in the points, Mr Bukhosini performed better than the closest candidate in the psychometric test. The other candidate was at a basic level compared to Mr Bukhosini."

He rejected the claims of nepotism and said it was well known that he was Bukhosini’s supervisor.

"He had no option to say I was his reference. It should be said that he also furnished two other references. What choice did he have but to put my name on the CV? I was his supervisor."

Dube-Ncube’s office made the final decision to employ Bukhosini.

"If she has issues she will raise them. I suppose the matter is still receiving attention from her offices."

Read more on:    ifp  |  durban

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