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Dannhauser municipal manager fights ANC-EFF-CFP alliance in Labour Court over suspension

Shaka Cele has outlined for the Labour Court how the law was flouted to illegally suspend him. Picture: Dannhauser Local Municipality Facebook page

Shaka Cele has outlined for the Labour Court how the law was flouted to illegally suspend him. Picture: Dannhauser Local Municipality Facebook page

Published Aug 1, 2023


The suspended municipal manager of Dannhauser Local Municipality is taking the fight to get his job back to the Labour Court.

Shaka Cele has filed extensive court papers detailing why he believes the court should set aside the irrational suspension and order the municipality to reinstate him immediately.

He wants the court to hear the matter on Thursday as it is urgent and he will suffer immense harm should the suspension not be set aside.

Cele’s lawyers contend that the decision to place him on precautionary suspension on 28 July 2023 is marred with glaring breaches, contravention and non-compliance with the provisions of Regulation 6 (2) and (3) of the Local Government: Disciplinary Regulations for Senior Managers.

Outlining his case in the court papers, Cele said he was called by the council and asked about a settlement signed off to settle with the municipality’s former director of technical services.

He said the council felt that the settlement was not justified and demanded answers.

“Council was not happy that the matter was concluded by way of a settlement. Consequently, on Thursday 20 July 2023 the Second Respondent (the council) took a resolution or resolved that I must be requested to provide reasons or make representation why I should not be placed on precautionary suspension pending an investigation into certain settlement I concluded with the Director for Technical Services,” Cele said in a sworn affidavit now placed before the Labour Court.

He said after that he was notified of the intention to suspend him from his position.

“On Friday, 21 July 2023 the third respondent, the Mayor (Bongani Radebe) wrote to me a letter informing me of the council decision and also directing me to provide reasons why I should not be suspended within seven days after the letter was given to me.”

Cele said all regulations regarding how senior managers in municipalities are suspended were not followed.

He alleges that he nonetheless gave his reasons why he should not be suspended to Radebe as his supervisor as mayor.

To his surprise, Radebe did not present them to the council before taking the decision.

“I have been placed on precautionary suspension by council; When council took a resolution to place me on precautionary suspension, the Third Respondent (Radebe) failed to table my representations or withheld the representations I had made; As a result, council did not consider and deliberate on my representations before taking a decision to place me on precautionary suspension,” Cele said.

Moreover, Cele told the court of his personal issues with Sibusiso Myaka, the fourth respondent in the matter in his capacity as Speaker of the council.

He said Myaka should have recused himself as they have historic personal issues and Myaka decided to place the issue of his suspension on the council agenda even though the prescribed seven days for senior managers to make representations had not lapsed.

“I protested about the convening of the meeting before the prescribed period to make representation expired. My protest was ignored. In the representation, I raised an issue about the fact that the Fourth Respondent is conflicted because of the personal transaction that had gone sour between me and him. While I had raised the issue of conflict of interest, the Fourth Respondent did not recuse himself at the meeting and pressed on with my suspension,” Cele told the court.

It was not yet clear whether the municipality would oppose the application or not at the time this report was compiled.

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