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Durban - The former manager of eThekwini’s Safer Cities unit, Nkosinathi Mazibuko, claims he was dismissed by the municipality last month because of his stand against corruption and abuse of council vehicles and for speaking on radio about the Manase Report.
The charges that led to his dismissal include insubordination, poor performance and being absent from work.
Mazibuko is not new to controversy. In 2006 he was among scores of former National Intelligence Agency staff who fell victim to the conflict between Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki, which led to a purge of those aligned with Zuma. Mazibuko, who was medically boarded (no reasons were given) after the dismissal of then head Billy Masethla, said he had been fired for openly supporting Zuma, then ANC deputy president.
He said his dismissal from the municipality last month was littered with irregularities and was a ploy by city manager S’bu Sithole and Martin Xaba, his boss at the Safer Cities unit, to get rid of him.
“I have raised a lot of what is wrong not only in my department, but across all sections and units in eThekwini,” he said.
Mazibuko said that in the process of getting rid of him, the municipality also victimised his staff, which led to some leaving the council.
Mazibuko said he found it disturbing that those targeted by Sithole were former MK operatives like him, head of metro police Eugene Nzama and suspended head of city health Nomkhosi Gxagxisa.
“My dismissal was premeditated. I submitted all my documents for the days I was away, including doctors’ sick notes, and human resources had all my details. Through the years I had never been charged with under-performance; it is only now when Sithole is city manager,” he said.
The municipality also charged Mazibuko for his participation in various radio stations as a political analyst.
“I declared to the city that I received no remuneration from my other pastime as a political analyst. It was, however, when I touched on the issue of the Manase Report in June that I stepped on some toes,” he said.
He said Xaba called a staff meeting while he (Mazibuko) was on leave to announce he had been dismissed, without him being informed.
A letter of dismissal signed by logistics head Innocent Chamane and dated November 28, 2013, states that Mazibuko was found guilty on all charges.
“Xaba threw a party at iTrump on December 12, celebrating my dismissal,” he said.
Municipal spokeswoman Tozi Mthethwa says anyone with proof of corruption should report it to the eThekwini City Integrity and Investigations Unit.
“The municipality adopts a zero tolerance stance on corruption and does not victimise those who report it; nor does it intend to purge any staff. It encourages employees and members of the public to report alleged transgressions to root out corruption,” said Mthethwa.
She said internal disciplinary actions against staff were confidential between employer and employee. “If an employee is not satisfied with the outcome of a disciplinary inquiry, they have the right to appeal,” she said.
Mazibuko said he would appeal against his dismissal.