eThekwini mayor to meet with city manager over resumption of duties despite corruption charges
Durban - eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda is set to meet with city manager, Sipho Nzuza, to discuss how he will perform his duties in light of his bail conditions.
Nzuza is one of the 17 accused in the R430 million waste tender corruption case which is before the Durban commercial crimes court.
Nzuza was arrested in March this year after his offer to be a state witness in the case was turned down.
According to city spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela, after his arrest, Nzuza was suspended for a period of three months in accordance with the Disciplinary Regulations governing senior managers.
"This was to make way for an independent investigation by the KZN Provincial Treasury on a different matter where there were allegations of violating supply chain processes. According to the progress report on this investigation tabled by Mayor Kaunda, there have been delays in finalising the investigation partly due to Covid-19 lockdown as well as the unavailability of some of the material documents," he said.
Mayisela said Nzuza's special leave, which was granted after the expiry of the suspension, came to an end on September 25.
In a leaked letter, Nzuza accused Kaunda of allegedly trying to coerce him not to return to work until a decision has been taken about his employment by the municipality.
“It is a matter of public record that I am (in my view, spuriously) criminally charged and currently attending those court proceedings. A remarkable feature of the criminal matter is that it is bedevilled by repeated adjournments. At the height of these adjournments, I was steeped in deep preparations. The objective was to put an end to the criminal charade,” Nzuza said.
According to the letter, he said it was malicious for the mayor to claim that by him returning to work, that he was likely to breach his bail conditions and risk being arrested and kept in custody until the case gets underway.
Nzuza further wrote, “The special leave has served its purpose. The prosecutorial stratagems to further delay the criminal matter have not abated… Thirdly, regard to bail conditions imposed on me by the criminal court is a diversion. The criminal court and the prosecutorial team are well placed to deal with any non-compliance with bail conditions. It would be foolhardy of me to breach bail conditions when doing so would potentially mean that I will forfeit my bail. The suggestion that I cannot return to work when required until such conditions are discussed has no merit.
It is unclear when the meeting between the two will take place.