Staging hijackings, faking thefts and burglaries, and using car wrecks to back up false accident claims are just some examples. Stock photo: supplied

Durban - The process of filling senior critical posts in the eThekwini municipality is under way, with some of the interviews scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

Municipal manager S’bu Sithole has been under pressure to act swiftly and fill the vacancies in his top management structure since the departure of several senior officials.

The Mercury has been told that the executive committee members will interview the applicants for three deputy city manager positions.

These will be in the departments of human settlements and infrastructure, economic development and human resources.

In June the contracts of two deputy city managers, Derek Naidoo (infrastructure and human settlements) and Bheki Cyril Mkhize (safety and security) were not renewed.

It is unclear when the remaining critical positions will be filled, including those of Mkhize and the head of housing after Cogi Pather resigned earlier this year.

The city was ordered recently to pay Mkhize three months’ salary after the South African Local Government Bargaining Council ruled that his dismissal was “substantively unfair”.

The departure of senior managers after the release of the Manase and Associates report into fraud, corruption and maladministration in the municipality led to opposition parties and local government experts questioning who was running Durban.

After Sithole took over as the city manager in February, there was an exodus of top staff, most of them perceived to be allied to former municipal manager Michael Sutcliffe.

Several officials have been facing disciplinary action or sacking, raising concern that the purge of experienced officials could lead to a lack of institutional memory and affect service.

None of the executive committee members could comment on the interview process yesterday, saying there was a confidentiality clause that barred them from discussing personnel matters with the media. - The Mercury