Durban — Former director general in the Presidency, Dr Cassius Lubisi and a team of highly qualified senior technocrats will work with him to turn around the situation in the eThekwini Municipality with municipal manager Musa Mbhele allegedly being sidelined.
The African National Congress in eThekwini has noted reports in various platforms about matters of service delivery and governance in the eThekwini Municipality, said ANC Regional spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize on Tuesday. The matters include Mbhele’s appointment and ANC eThekwini ward 101 Councillor Mzimuni Ngiba status as councillor while awaiting trial for murder.
Mbhele’s appointment was under scrutiny after the Daily News obtained a corruption report by the City Integrity and Investigation Unit which recommended disciplinary charges against him. The report found him guilty of eight contraventions including that of the Municipal Finance Management Act.
It is a municipality policy that a person facing disciplinary charges could not be employed until cleared of any wrongdoing or at least the candidate must disclose to the panel, or the panel would have due diligence to vet all the shortlisted candidates.
Mkhize said the ANC in the region was briefed by the ANC leadership in the province about the deployment of Lubisi and technocrats to eThekwini as per Section 154 intervention of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
He said,“We welcome this deployment which is championed by all spheres of the ANC government.”
Mkhize said the deployment of Lubisi and technocrats will strengthen service delivery. He said the residents have every right to demand quality service from those working for the city.
On the issue of Ngiba, the ANC in eThekwini expressed confidence in processes to culminate towards the removal of Ngiba on May 30.
Mkhize said, “We continue to monitor developments around his case. We wish to confirm that his absence from his ward and implications on service delivery are matters discussed by the two meetings of the Regional Executive Council, held in June and July last year.”
Speaker of eThekwini Municipality Thabani Nyawose wrote to Ngiba questioning his absence from council meetings. Mkhize said, “This process had to be followed as dictated by the law.”
Mkhize said that they were confident that the council sitting will carry out the recommendation of the ANC to have Ngiba removed from the council. This will be in line with municipal prescripts and laws of the country, he added.
“As the ANC in the region, we believe that if there is any critical lesson to learn from Ngiba's case is that law enforcement agencies, the entire prosecution and justice system should move with speed to resolve such cases of murder, especially when they involve jailed public representatives.”
Mkhize said that in February 2023 the ANC announced the reconfiguration of council committees as part of strengthening service delivery.
“We extended a hand of co-operation to all the people of eThekwini across all political lines. We emphasised the need of pulling together behind a common goal of making our city a livable place,” Mkhize said.
Last week, MPAC chairperson Thami Xuma told Daily News that his committee concluded that the City Integrity and Investigation Unit’s (CIIU’s) findings and recommendations concerning Mbhele were very serious and had referred the matter to the executive committee (Exco) for a decision.
He added that a decision about the City manager who was hired by the council should be taken by Exco, a decision-making body between council meetings.
“I will submit the recommendations of my committee to the Exco for a decision. We have found these contraventions by the city manager very seriously although we cannot dictate to the Exco what action to take but we expect them to take a decision that would be in the best interest of the City,” said Xuma.
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