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Troubled IFP-run KwaZulu-Natal municipality in municipal manager appointment row

Emadlangeni (Utrecht) Local Municipality appointed Grace Mavundla to act in the position even though there is an allegation that there is no council resolution giving that the legal nod. Picture: Theo Jeptha/African News Agency(ANA)

Emadlangeni (Utrecht) Local Municipality appointed Grace Mavundla to act in the position even though there is an allegation that there is no council resolution giving that the legal nod. Picture: Theo Jeptha/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Apr 21, 2022

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Durban - A troubled municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal that is governed by the IFP has allegedly appointed a municipal manager without following due processes.

Emadlangeni (Utrecht) Local Municipality appointed Grace Mavundla to act in the position even though there is an allegation that there is no council resolution giving that the legal nod.

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Mavundla’s appointment late last year was met with controversy since the municipality is still paying a salary to the suspended municipal manager (MM), Thamsanqa Nkosi, who has been on suspension for almost over a year now, and his case is allegedly being deliberately dragged out.

According to a whistle-blower, Mavundla's first appointment did not meet the required standards as some legislation was flouted, putting the municipality at risk of being placed under administration by the provincial Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

“Mavundla’s appointment was not above board. Her acting contract expired at the end of March this year. However, she mysteriously came back to resume her duties on Tuesday (April 19). There is something wrong with her employment,” claimed the whistle-blower.

Municipal spokesperson Ayanda Mabaso denied that there was no resolution to appoint Mabaso, saying it was taken on March 30, which meant her contract had been extended.

“Mrs Grace Mavundla was appointed as Acting MM for a period of three months ending April 6, 2022. The appointment was extended at a council meeting held on March 30, 2022, as per council resolution number A81/2022,” Mabaso said.

The chief whip of the ANC in the council, Nelly Madida, said they had boycotted the council because they were opposed to Mavundla’s appointment.

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"I can't remember a council resolution like that being taken," Madida told the Daily News.

The sole representative of the DA in the council, Innes Deiker, said there was a resolution green-lighting Manundla’s appointment to the position.

Mabaso said they were getting nearer to closing the chapter with suspended Nkosi, and placed the blame on the delay in resolving the matter on the previous ANC-led political administration.

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“The municipality has not failed to resolve the disciplinary matter involving Mr LCT Nkosi. The matter is close to finalisation and a new presiding officer was appointed to finalise the case after the demise of the previous presiding officer.

“The municipality places on record that the matter was handled by the previous mayor, and a report was submitted by the late presiding officer and was never disclosed to council for reasons unknown to the municipality. It is only after the intervention of the new administration that there has been movement on the matter to bring it to finality,” he said.

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