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eThekwini speaker says criminal case opened is not against city manager Mbhele

EThekwini Municipality city manager Musa Mbhele.

eThekwini Municipality city manager Musa Mbhele. File Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives.

Published May 25, 2023


Durban - The speaker of eThekwini Municipality Thabani Nyawose has said there is no criminal case opened against city manager Musa Mbhele.

Nyawose told councillors at a council meeting on Thursday morning that while there was a case opened, it was not against the city manager.

African Democratic Change (ADeC) councillor Visvin Reddy was the first to raise the matter following media reports that a criminal case had been opened.

The city manager has been under pressure for the past few weeks with calls for him to be removed due to allegations that he had failed to disclose an ongoing investigation against him during the interview for the top job.

Shortly before the meeting started, Reddy called on the speaker to dispel the allegations that a criminal case had been opened against the city manager.

“The city manager is compromised. He is implicated by the City Integrity Committee (sic) in serious allegations of acts of fraud and corruption. As councillors we are kept in the dark and have to rely on media reports. This is shocking and unacceptable. The city manager was part of an investigation of which he was fully aware.

“He failed to disclose this information to the selection panel when he applied for the position. That is a serious breach of his employment conditions. It is ADeC’s view that the city manager must be placed on compulsory leave until this matter is resolved and his name cleared. It seems that the speaker is protecting the city manager and may find himself hugely embarrassed.

“Mr Speaker (Nyawose) can you confirm what you told us at the whips meeting that there is no case opened against the city manager, I do not think it will be proper to continue with this meeting (without the allegation being addressed),” said Reddy.

Nyawose confirmed there was a case opened but said: “I can confirm that there is no case against city manager Musa Mbhele.”

The Mercury has previously reported that a 2019 report issued by the City Integrity and Investigations Unit allegedly implicated Mbhele in a violation of the Municipal Finance Management Act for entering into a Memorandum of Agreement that changed the terms of a tender contract without council approval.