Former Msunduzi manager accused of leave fraud
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Durban - Former Msunduzi city manager Sizwe Hadebe has been accused of trying to defraud the municipality out of almost R200 000.
A forensic report before the municipality’s council says Hadebe had falsely claimed he had not taken his leave days and had attempted to claim the cash value of the days which was R199 000.
But Hadebe fired back saying the days he claimed for were legitimate days of leave that were owed to him.
The alleged attempted fraud took place when Hadebe moved from being on a contract to a permanent position in 2017.
The report said on a number of occasions Hadebe was absent from work and no formal application of leave was submitted to the human resources department.
The Mercury had previously reported that Hadebe had been accused of trying to defraud the municipality, but the value and the extent of the fraud was unknown at the time.
The report stated that it could not discipline Hadebe over the alleged fraud because a separation agreement was reached when he and the municipality parted ways and directed the legal department to explore whether any criminal charges could be pursued.
It directed that the internal audit unit had to analyse Hadebe’s laptop to see whether it can be established whether he was unavailable for the 30 days that are reflected in the schedule.
“The municipal manager had tried to defraud the municipality by claiming that he had not taken days of leave whereas he had been absent for several days (for) which he failed to advise human resources for them to capture this leave onto their leave record systems,” the report stated.
The value of this attempted fraud is R199 177, 30 as reflected on the leave payment form.
The investigation further found that for a number of days, totalling 30 days, the city had to appoint an acting municipal manager because Hadebe was absent from work.
Hadebe disputed this and denied that he had tried to defraud the municipality. He said for the days where it was claimed he was absent from work, he had been working outside the office on municipal business.
He said as he accounted to the mayor, it was the mayor that signed off on those days he worked outside the office.
“If I had to be outside the office, I had to appoint an acting municipal manager.”
He said in many of the instances he would be attending events including those hosted by the South African Local Government Association and provincial conferences called by the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs or other municipal functions.
“On some of these days, I would be travelling with the mayor to these events. The investigators never talked to me, if they had I would have explained this situation to them,” he said.
He said he took the municipality to the Bargaining Council over the matter but it was thrown out on a technicality and he had to drop the matter because “I could not afford” to go to the Labour Court.
Hadebe said he was now trying to move on from the difficult period he had had at the Msunduzi Municipality and was trying to start afresh.
Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha declined to comment saying the matter was dealt with by council under confidential matters.