When political interference impedes effective and competent governance. Truly shocking!

2015-05-21 09:38

When political interference impedes a municipal employee from performing his/her duties you have a major screw up.  No wonder you have service delivery flare ups and people venting their frustration through the use of violence. This case highlights one such case that actually saw the light of day when a municipal employee successfully sued  her employer and was awarded massive damages ( and need I say we the taxpayer foot the bill?) by a court on 19th May 2015. Go to www.saflii.org.za and you can read the details.

Msengana-Ndlela v Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality [2015] ZAECPEHC 31 (19 May 2015)

At para [6] This is what the judgment states:

[In evidence before me, the plaintiff elaborated upon these grievances and in particular, the concerns for her own safety. Her uncontroverted evidence was that her reticence to appoint members of the MKVA as close protection officers to certain individuals in the defendant’s council elicited a hostile confrontation by one of their ilk. And yet, her plaintive cries went unheeded. Fastidiousness, independence, integrity and a commitment to perform her duties strictly within the parameters of the law, were, astonishingly, not traits which endeared themselves to the political hierarchy of the defendant. The intervention she sought from the MEC was not forthcoming and the interference continued unbridled.

Finally, on 31 May 2013, the plaintiff tendered her resignation and shortly thereafter, in a missive to Fihla provided reasons for her resignation.

She wrote: -

“My resignation is against the background of sustained inappropriate and undue political interference that has hindered and undermined my administrative position as City Manager in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality. This is unlawful and constitutes both a serious and a material breach of contract, which makes it impossible for me to perform my duties. I have no reason to believe that this problem has been (and will be) adequately addressed, hence this confirmation of my resignation.”]

 My note: This is shocking. Its time when civil society voted with their conscience to give a clear message to the powers perpetrating this act of mocking and defecating on our constitutional rights to effective governance!

Saber Ahmed Jazbhay

21.5.2015

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