Municipal Manager faces suspension threat

DRAMA is yet again unfolding inside the halls of the Mthonjaneni Municipality in Melmoth as rumours fly over the future of current Municipal Manager, Raymond Mnguni.

Mnguni returned to work on Friday after being given 10 days ‘special leave’, as well as seven days to respond to queries raised by council in a letter notifying him of their intention to suspend him.

The move comes months after the removal of Mayor Maureen Ndlangamandla and a takeover that saw IFP councillor Mbongiseni Biyela inaugurated as the new mayor.

Sources within council confirmed to the Zululand Observer that the issues being used as the basis of the intended suspension relate to a forensic investigation conducted by the KZN Treasury Department in 2014.

An information request sent from Treasury to the municipality points to certain incidents between 1 July 2012 and 31 December 2013 that would come under investigation, requesting documentation to support procedural requirements being met:

• Food parcels for waste programmes

• Payment for training of ward committees

• Bus shelter and Ndundulu projects

• Procurement of councillors’ vehicles

• Council accommodation during the 2013 SALGA Games

• Appointment of a Corporate Services Manager, which the document only names as ‘Mrs Mathe’

• Appointment of the mayor’s bodyguards

To date, the findings of the report have not been released.

No comment has been forthcoming from Treasury regarding the delay, despite numerous requests sent by the ZO, the earliest of which dates to 9 November.

Mnguni was contacted for comment on Friday, but declined until the issue of his suspension had been finalised.

IFP uThungulu Media Liasion Officer Vusi Ngwezi said he was not aware if Mnguni had met the deadline to respond to the allegations put to him in the council letter, but could not discuss or confirm the particulars of the charges.

‘I am hoping that he has responded by today (Friday),’ said Ngwezi. ‘Council can take no further action until such a time as his responses have been reviewed and a finding made.’

Numerous requests for comment regarding the same issues sent to the KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), have also met with no response.

Kyle Cowan

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