Worker ‘not a ghost’

2019-07-31 15:00

The wife of Alfred Duma Local Municipality’s Speaker, Themba Ngubane, is at the centre of an investigation after allegations that she was on the municipality’s payroll but was not reporting for work.

However, on Tuesday she vehemently denied the allegation when contacted by The Witness.

The Witness has reliably learnt that there is an investigation into 300 alleged “ghost employees” in the municipality.

Hlengiwe Winnie Ngubane (39), who was listed as a senior citizen/disability clerk, was appointed on contract three years ago on a salary of R9 160 per month.

According to the highly-placed source, her contract had been extended over the years, but she had allegedly been a “ghost employee” since her husband took office in 2016.

On July 25, opposition councillors in the municipality wrote a letter to the municipal manager and mayor calling for an urgent motion of no confidence against the speaker.

In the letter seen by The Witness, the opposition parties asked for the involvement of the Hawks. Councillors also called for the removal of the speaker from office.

Alfred Duma Local Municipality spokesperson Siyabonga Maphalala said the municipal manager has instructed municipal auditors to do a verification of all employees io the salary payroll of council.

“Ghost employees’ identification and eradication needs a collective managerial leadership effort between all those tasked with the responsibility to manage the municipality, its sections and functional operations, hence this exercise,” said Maphalala.

Maphalala said council has given the municipality two weeks to investigate the allegations.

When contacted by The Witness on Tuesday, Ngubane confirmed that she has been married to the speaker for five years, but denied being a ghost employee.

“That’s a lie. I have been going to work. I even did my training in the municipality. I don’t know why people are lying,” she said.

Ngubane conceded that she had not declared her relationship with the speaker as she did not believe it was necessary.

She confirmed that while her contract was renewed in June for another six months, she had turned it down after rumours of her being a ghost employee surfaced.

A councillor, who asked to remain unnamed, said Ngubane tendered her resignation last Thursday after councillors called for an urgent investigation.

“She has not worked, and she must refund the ratepayers’ money. As it is, our municipality is being investigated for more corruption and this just adds to the list.

“We are almost under administration, there’s no money for service delivery because of all this corruption,” said the councillor.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  ghost workers

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