Msunduzi Municipality City Manager Sizwe Hadebe’s remarks that councillors should undergo more workshops has led to calls that he should stop making personal remarks. File picture

Pietermaritzburg - Embattled Msunduzi Municipality City Manager Sizwe Hadebe’s remarks that councillors should undergo more workshops - in order to understand council matters and processes - has led to calls that he should only answer questions and stop making personal remarks.

Hadebe was attending his first meeting since the surfacing of an audio clip allegedly featuring his voice where a man gives instructions to a subordinate to appoint a certain candidate and award a contract to a certain company. 

While there have been calls for his suspension and even axing, Hadebe showed no strain on Wednesday as he went about co-chairing the council sitting with Speaker Jabu Ngubo.  

It began when Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Sibongiseni Majola asked why reports are sent to council late, warning that this could drive the municipality to another disclaimer. It was at this point that Hadebe suggested that councillors should undergo another workshop in order to understand council processes. This prompted a sharp response from opposition councillors, who said the city manager was out of order. 

“You must simply respond to the questions and stop making sarcastic remarks,” said African Christian Democratic Party councillor Reinus Niemand.

Council Speaker Jabu Ngubo also cautioned the city manager to limit his response to questions only. Hadebe promised to be mindful of his words, but indicated that he saw nothing wrong with his suggestion of a workshop.  

“Councillors have been attending workshops since this council came into being in order to be more capacitated and it is in that spirit that the workshop was suggested,” said Hadebe. 

Wednesday’s sitting was well attended and councillors appeared to have heeded the Speaker’s call to attend meetings in order to avoid having outstanding items. 

Last week’s council sitting had to be abandoned after only 39 councillors in the 78-seat council made it to the meeting.  

It is understood that the report from Mayor Themba Njilo about the findings of an investigation of an audio clip was one of the confidential items discussed by councillors.  

African News Agency (ANA)