Allegations of meddling in the appointments of a senior manager and tender processes have rocked Msunduzi after audio recording alleged to be of city manager Sizwe Hadebe went viral this week. In the recording a man believed to be Hadebe is heard instructing an official about who should be appointed to a position. He is heard telling the official to make sure that the interview scores favour a particular female candidate because he is also under pressure from the “deputy”.According to sources within the municipality the position being discussed is for the senior manager for assets and liabilities. It was an internally advertised position but the female in question, who is alleged to be an auditor, is not an employee of the municipality. When the official being instructed is heard expressing some reluctance, he is told “you have to make the scores reflect the will of the politicians. Even if the difference is one or two points from others. If you want to hear it from the horse’s mouth we can go to the deputy.”Hadebe tells his subordinate that his hands are also tied and he has to make unpopular decisions as a manager because he is just “delivery boy”.“I think in a way this is a blessing in disguise because in terms of equity, only Dudu is a female senior manager,”Hadebe further adds that at least she performed well during the interview and did not have to be coached on answering questions. However, he also expresses his regret that the changing of scores will prejudice Odwa Langa, who has been acting as the senior manager for assets and liabilities, and was the only internal candidate interviewed for the position in January.He says Langa will find something else because there are still many other available positions. He tells the official that at least they are not being made to do anything that could land them in jail “like paying someone that has not done the job”. Langa declined to comment, saying he does not have authority to speak to the media. The parties on the recording also discuss an engineering contract, which involved a Johannesburg-based service provider. The official tells his supervisor that the report is with the bid evaluation committee and he is still waiting for their recommendations. The manager says he wants to brief the politicians about the contractor before sending the appointment letter in case they object to the awarding the tender to that service provider.He said politicians are ruthless and can instruct him to change a contractor after a letter of appointment has already been sent to the service provider. He instructs the subordinate to remove the matter from the meeting’s agenda until he has spoken to the politicians. “It’s better to brief them during every step of the process so that you can get the political protection,” he said. Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the City has been made aware of the clip but cannot confirm its authenticity. “The municipality wish to indicate that recording of anybody without proper approvals, if indeed the clip is authentic, is illegal and infringes on the constitutional rights of individuals and is geared and aimed at impugning the dignity and image of individuals,” she said.She said the matter will be reported to the enforcement authorities for appropriate action. “The mayor [Themba Njilo] has lodged an investigation which will be shared with all relevant stakeholders that include council and Cogta,” said Mafumbatha.