Slain KZN municipal manager 'hated corruption'

2017-03-06 18:01


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Durban – A colleague of slain Richmond municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole could not bring himself to look at his body after he was assassinated on Monday morning.

DA executive member Thembokwakho Madondo said he kept his distance. All he could see was Sithole slouched in his car, one foot hanging out of the door.

When he got to work around 09:00, two colleagues told him Sithole had been shot. He said it appeared that he was ambushed while on his way to a nearby licensing centre. He went to the scene.

“He was in the passenger seat, slouching with one foot was out the door. Maybe he was trying to run away.”

KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said Sithole was killed after he was called to an incident at the testing station. His killers appeared to have posed as policemen and pulled him over, she said.

“What makes Sithole’s murder more tragic and sad is that he was allegedly killed while on duty. He still had a lot to contribute in the development of the people of Richmond and held a record for good and successful administration, including various clean audits. He was indeed a paragon of administrative excellence,” she said.

Madondo said Sithole, 39, had not raised any concerns about his safety. He was leaving to become municipal manager at the Umgeni municipality from March 13.

Some members of the ANC and council wanted him to stay and some wanted him gone, he said.

“He hated corruption. He had integrity and was generally a good person. He was good at his job. He was honest and never took things personally. He was the man who took care of ailing municipalities and that is why he always got head-hunted,” Madondo said.

DA Umgungundlovu East constituency head, Dean Macpherson, said Sithole was doing his best to fight corruption and clamp down on wasteful expenditure in the ANC-led municipality. It had been fraught with deep-seated ANC factionalism over the last few years.

He said Sithole recently supported a DA’s objection to increasing the number of full-time councillors in Richmond. They would have been paid R800 000 per year, excluding benefits, which would have bankrupted the municipality.

“This no doubt cost him the confidence of the ANC in the area, who would rather bankrupt the municipality by adding more highly-paid ANC politicians, than clamp down on corruption,” Macpherson said.

His tough stance on corruption and maladministration forced him to seek employment elsewhere, he said.

Macpherson said if local authorities failed to bring Sithole’s killers to book, he would escalate the matter to the ministers of co-operative governance and police, Des van Rooyen and Nathi Nhleko.

A task team had been set up to investigate Sithole’s murder. Acting provincial commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa, appealed to locals not to take the law into their own hands, and to call Crime Stop on 08600-10111 with information about the murder.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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