eThekwini city manager’s suspension extended
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Durban - Suspended eThekwini municipal manager Sipho Nzuza’s career was thrown a lifeline this week when his special leave was extended by another three months pending investigation.
The full council approved the extension on Friday after the initial three-months’ special leave came to an end.
Nzuza was suspended after a court appearance relating to a fraud and corruption case.
He was arrested by the Hawks in March on a raft of charges including fraud, corruption and maladministration relating to a multimillion-rand Durban Solid Waste tender. He was accused number 17 in the case that also involves former Durban mayor Zandile Gumede.
A source, who was part of the meeting, said Nzuza’s lawyer brought an application for another three months which had to be approved by the council in order for him to receive his full salary.
He said the council noted the application and approved it, hoping that another three months would be sufficient for further investigation.
“It was discussed that his bail condition makes it hard for him to return to work, yet there is little that has been done in terms of court proceedings. The Covid-19 caused delays, and no work has been done regarding the case, so it was resolved that he get another three months of leave,” said the source.
DA Caucus leader Nicole Graham said a request for him to take further special leave had been noted with the council. She confirmed that mayor Mxolisi Kaunda had approved the leave.
“There was a dispute around whether the mayor had the authority to approve, but essentially, we did agree to it.
“I do believe it is the best situation under the current circumstances.
“His bail conditions are quite strict, and I do not think him being around the office and city hall is possible,” said Graham.
Mayoral spokesperson Mluleki Mtungwa declined to comment on the leave extension.
Nzuza’s lawyer, Dinesha Deeplal, also declined to comment and referred all questions to the municipality.