A senior official in the Msunduzi municipality has been fired after being found guilty of 13 counts of gross mismanagement, maladministration and corruption by an inquiry set up by the co-operative governance department.
MEC Nomusa Dube, announcing the dismissal of Kenny Chetty, manager of processes, community services and safety and security at Msunduzi on Thursday, said criminal charges and civil recovery procedures might also be launched against other officials of the municipality who had resigned.
Chetty was suspended by Johann Mettler, who was appointed administrator of the municipality, in May 2010.
More than 10 other senior officials are on suspension and the subject of an investigation, as part of the process of cleaning up the municipality.
Msunduzi was taken over by the provincial government in March 2010 after complaints of administrative chaos and corruption. Mettler was appointed to head the cash-strapped municipality and to act against officials implicated in wrongdoing.
High-ranking officials, including the mayor, Zanele Hlatshwayo, were sacked, while municipal manager Rob Haswell resigned. A new executive under mayor Mike Tarr was installed in May 2010.
The province has also intervened at three other municipalities – Indaka (Estcourt), Ukhahlamba (Bergville) and Umhlabuyalingana (far northern KZN).
Announcing Chetty’s expulsion on Thursday, Dube said that the department’s programme to restore Msunduzi to “its former glory” as a respectable capital city of kwaZulu-Natal was well on course.
“Today we have taken a decision to fire one of the officials who was found guilty of contributing to the collapse of governance and administration in this municipality,” she said.
Dube said Chetty had been found guilty on 13 counts including irregular, fruitless and unauthorised expenditure.
She said disciplinary hearings were also pending against other Msunduzi officials on suspension, including chief financial officer Roy Bridgemohan, Francis Grantham, procurement head Kevin Perumal and human resources and community services head Zwe Hulane.
“We expect every official from the Msunduzi municipality to look after the interests of the municipality and to comply with all regulations aimed at promoting good and clean governance… We are waging a real war against maladministration, mismanagement and corruption in Msunduzi.”
Dube said her department was “combat ready” to get rid of all “bad elements” who had disgraced Pietermaritzburg and that incompetence, maladministration and corruption would not be tolerated.
She also expressed satisfaction with the turnaround achieved at the municipality. - The Mercury