Will Hadebe get the job?

2017-11-28 13:45
Sizwe Hadebe.

Sizwe Hadebe. (File)

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Will the Msunduzi council appoint the controversial acting City manager Sizwe Hadebe to the top job?

That’s the question many are asking following news that an Executive Committee meeting and a special full council meeting have been called for Tuesday.

Hadebe has been acting in the position since June 2016.

According to various sources, the ANC caucus held a meeting last week where Hadebe’s appointment was mooted.

But there was dissension among the councillors, with some objecting to Hadebe’s appointment.

According to sources, the special full council was set for this morning but was pushed back to this afternoon so that the ANC could continue to garner support for Hadebe’s appointment.

Sources said it was no longer an option to extend Hadebe’s contract and that his appointment was to be presented as the best solution to a Catch-22 situation, where in terms of directives from the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), council had to make the appointment before Friday, December 1.

They must also act before the council goes on recess over the festive season.

It is expected that Exco will make a recommendation to the full council to mandate Mayor Themba Njilo to write to the Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube asking her to approve Hadebe’s appointment. The selection panel headed by Njilo included deputy mayor Thobani Zuma and uMshwathi municipal manager Nhlanhla Mabaso finished the process of selecting a permanent City manager well behind schedule this month.

The appointment of Hadebe has divided the ANC caucus, which has held numerous meetings with ANC regional leadership over the appointment.

A source said the appointment of Hadebe was being slipped into the special full council agenda as a confidential item.

DA MP Mergan Chetty said he believed the appointment of Hadebe would take place this afternoon.

“In the period while Hadebe was acting City manager this city has regressed. Power outages have increased, water outages have increased, malfunctioning street lights and robots have increased,” said Chetty.

“Hadebe was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to irregularly sit in the seat of the acting City manager where he proved he wasn’t capable of turning around the fortunes of Msunduzi. The SIU has instituted investigations into the City while it was under his watch.

“He failed miserably and dismally. Surely if his past track record is anything to go by he should not even have been shortlisted for the post. We need drastic, urgent intervention.

“Msunduzi is not only in need of a new municipal manager, it should be placed under administration. Only this will bring the city onto the path of recovery.

“Under Hadebe’s leadership, the city faces a bleak Christmas.”

A close source has said that “it is certain” that Hadebe would be appointed as the new Msunduzi municipal manager on Tuesday.

The source said, “They were called to the ANC regional office [on Monday] and told to go about it this way. They do not care about Hadebe’s past because they want a man who will follow their instructions and implement their plans whether they are legal or not.”

IFP councillor Thinasonke Ntombela said that the party was not aware that Hadebe’s appointment would be discussed at today’s meeting, however, should it come up for discussion the party would definitely object to the appointment on the basis that it would be illegal because of the length of time it took from the actual advertisement for the post to the selection process.

KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said that Cogta were not privy to the agendas of municipalities and there was no regulation that says municipalities should share their agendas with Cogta.

He said it would be premature and disrespectful to comment on speculation, however, he said if anything warrants the attention of Cogta for intervention, it will happen without fear, favour or prejudice.

Controversy surrounds Sizwe Hadebe

Sizwe Hadebe’s appointment as the acting City manager has been controversial.

The Witness wrote that he changed his name from Adolph Slindokuhle Hadebe.

The Sunday Times wrote that Hadebe was suspended while at the Ekurhuleni Municipality after a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probe into a contract for water meter installations by Lesira-Teq.

Hadebe was also the deputy chair of the National Water Advisory Council that advised Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, and had been previously employed by the City of Johannesburg when Lesira-Teq scored a R170 million deal to install water meters there

Read more on:    msunduzi municipality  |  pietermaritzburg

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