Nkosi questions city internal auditor’s suspension

2016-04-15 11:30
Msunduzi Municipality city manager Mxolisi Nkosi

Msunduzi Municipality city manager Mxolisi Nkosi

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Pietermaritzburg - Suspended Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi has finally broken his silence — not on his suspension — but rather that of his former colleague and the city’s chief internal auditor, Petrus Mahlaba.

Nkosi yesterday released a statement to The Witness, saying he “could not help but notice glaring irregularities” in the manner that Mahlaba was suspended last week, calling it “improper and irrational”.

He said the officials who effected the suspension did not have the legal capacity to do so and that Mahlaba’s suspension meant his office was open for anyone to manipulate or destroy documentation.

Nkosi, speaking as the president of the Institute of Local Government Managers (iLGM), said he observed that deputy municipal manager Dr Ray Ngcobo, through the instruction of acting municipal manager Boniwe Zulu, had effected the suspension, but both are currently under investigation by the internal audit team headed by Mahlaba.

“The [Witness] article already points to the internal audit of Msunduzi raising issues against the officials who suspended [Mahlaba],” he said.

Nkosi raised a “concerning observation” that Mahlaba’s office would now be left “open to manipulation or destruction”.

Last week it was alleged that Mahlaba was subjected to bullying tactics by council officials, including Ngcobo, which resulted in him reporting an incident of intimidation at Alexandra Road police station on Friday night.

Referring to a chapter of the King III report published by Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC), Nkosi said Msunduzi’s audit committee should have effected Mahlaba’s suspension to “protect the independence that underpins the functioning of internal auditors”. Failing that, the city’s full council should have suspended him.

He questioned whether Mahlaba’s suspension marked “an onslaught” on internal auditors, which he said could destroy the stature and dignity of the profession.

“The deep fear is the harm it can potentially do to the effective functioning of audit committees and internal audit committees across municipalities if it is not boldly and decisively handled,” said Nkosi.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    msunduzi municipality  |  pietermaritzburg  |  audit

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