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KZN’s eMadlangeni municipality crippled after sheriff attached five services delivery vehicles over debt

The mayor of eMadlangeni Local Municipality which is faced with a financial crisis. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

The mayor of eMadlangeni Local Municipality which is faced with a financial crisis. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

Published Dec 14, 2022


Durban – The eMadlangeni Local Municipality (Utrecht) in northern KwaZulu-Natal has been left scrambling after a sheriff on Tuesday attached five vehicles critical for service delivery.

The local sheriff was acting on the instruction of the lawyers of Zamokuhle Johannes Mkhize, a former manager for corporate services who was unfairly fired by the municipality in April this year.

Mkhize took the matter to the SA Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) for arbitration and the municipality was then ordered to pay more than R679 000 as compensation for the unfair act which was believed to have been politically inspired.

Mkhize’s contract kicked off on February 1, 2018, while the municipality was still under the political leadership of the ANC, and it was supposed to end in January 2023.

However, in April this year, he was fired, and the new IFP administration claimed that he had reached the retirement age of 65.

Mkhize, who was fired while earning a basic salary of R67 900 a month, first took the matter to the Labour Court on an urgent basis, and the court ruled against him, saying it was not urgent.

The matter was then taken to the SALGBC and it was heard on August 30 this year, and a ruling was handed down on September 28.

However, the cash-strapped municipality has been struggling to pay Mkhize and his lawyers, Cebisa Attorney have since obtained a writ of execution (enforcement of judgment).

Among the vehicles attached on the day is a TLB, the only one the municipality uses to dig graves.

Also attached is a firefighting vehicle, one of the few that the struggling municipality has for emergencies.

Also attached are two Nissan NP200 and one NP 300 bakkie used by municipal staff for revenue collection services.

Ironically, the writ of execution was submitted to Nonkululeko Maphisa, the employee who replaced Mkhize and whose appointment is being contested on the basis that she does not qualify for the job.

It is understood that the municipality was on Wednesday still frantically trying to negotiate with Cebisa Attorneys and the sheriff to put the execution in abeyance.

“The municipality acknowledges that there was an unprocedural attempt to attach the vehicles on a matter that relates to a labour dispute however we can confirm that the said vehicles have not been attached. The matter is sub judice and no further comments can be made by the municipality. The municipality is currently exploring its legal options on both the matters”, said municipal spokesperson Ayanda Mabaso.

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