Durban - The much-awaited investigation into allegations levelled against the suspended Msunduzi municipal manager Sizwe Hadebe is expected to be concluded this week.

The Mercury understands that the private investigator, appointed by council to probe the claims, was in the process of finalising the report - having interviewed a number of employees and senior managers at the municipality.

Hadebe was suspended last month pending the finalisation of the investigation which looks at claims that he allegedly interfered in the appointment of a municipal official and that he tried to influence the awarding of a tender.

Senior managers, employees and councillors from both the ANC and the opposition had raised a number of concerns about Hadebe’s conduct, accusing him of running the beleaguered municipality into the ground.

Mayor Themba Njilo said he could not comment on the investigation as he was not involved in it.

“We have tried to give the investigator some space to do the investigation and not interfere, that is why I have never even asked him how it is going. I actually do not know when he will conclude the investigation,” he said.

Damning

DA chief whip Sibongiseni Majola said the DA believed the report would be damning against Hadebe.

The party has also submitted a dossier containing a number of allegations against Hadebe.

“We submitted a very large document and we have communicated with the investigator who indicated that the report will have to be done by Friday,” Majola said.

Once finalised the report will be tabled before full council.

Judge David Gush had found that the application lacked urgency and ordered that Hadebe pays the municipality’s legal costs.

Delivering the judgment, the judge said that the suspension was meant to allow for the smooth running of the investigation and that he did not deem it unlawful.

“The suspension is unquestionably not punitive but merely to allow the investigator to complete the investigation unhindered and it is therefore precautionary in nature,” reads the judgment.

In its letter informing Hadebe of the precautionary suspension, the municipality had argued that the position of municipal manager is a strategic one and that by virtue of occupying the position, Hadebe has access to sensitive documentation required for the investigation.

The municipality argued that he may influence employees and interfere with potential witnesses.

Hadebe’s legal counsel had argued that the notice spelling out the intended precautionary suspension had been unlawful as it did not spell out the nature of the alleged misconduct.

“I am not persuaded that the suspension was unlawful or that the respondent did not substantially comply with the requirements of the disciplinary regulations,” Judge Gush said.

Hadebe’s lawyer, Sibani Nzimande said he was yet to meet his client to discuss the way forward.

“I am not around and he is also not around so we have not met to discuss the next course of action.

“Once we meet we will be able to say what the next step is,” he said.

Last week the Durban Labour Court struck off the roll, Hadebe’s application to have his suspension overturned.

The Mercury