eThekwini municipal manager suspended
Durban - eThekwini municipal manager, Sipho Nzuza, has been suspended. The decision was taken during a special executive council meeting held at the City Hall on Friday.
Nzuza was arrested by the Hawks earlier this week and appeared in the Durban in connection with a dodgy Durban Solid Waste tender scandal.
On Tuesday, Nzuza, was arrested for allegedly colluding with service providers to irregularly procure contracts related to the multimillion-rand Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender deal. He was granted bail following his appearance in court.
Reacting to Nzuza's suspension, DA caucus leader in eThekwini Nicole Graham, said they welcomed the decision.
"We support broadly the suspension of the city manager. There are very serious allegations over his head and his position in the municipality until that is resolved, is untenable. We are now calling for the same action to be taken against the other councilllors implicated in the investigation. There are six out on bail who remain in their councillor positions," she said.
Graham said the DA wanted to know who would be paying for Nzuza's legal costs.
"There is a provision in law for this where he will be suspended if the process goes ahead and he has seven days to respond and there will be another council meeting convened. If suspended, he will be suspended with full pay and he earns R3.3m per year. Why should the people pay for his lawyers? I have written to the head of legal and we need an answer," she said.
During his appearance in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, the State alleged that Nzuza’s actions and those of his 16 co-accused were deliberate and that they had acted on a premeditated agenda to loot the state and benefit directly or indirectly.
Nzuza is facing a raft of charges including fraud, corruption, conspiracy to commit fraud and corruption, and contravening the Municipal Financial Management Act.
He is the 17th accused in the criminal case involving former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and 15 others, including deputy head of strategy and new development Robert Abbu, Hlenga Sibisi, Mzwandile Dludla, Sinthamone Ponnan, Zithulele Mkhize, Bongani Dlomo and Prabagaram Pariah.
The amount relating to the tender deal has ballooned from R389m to R430m.