Picture: African News Agency(ANA) Archives
Pietermaritzburg - Msunduzi mayor Themba Njilo has pleaded with Pietermaritzburg residents not to “lose hope” as his council stumbles from one damning allegation of corruption to the next.

Municipal manager Sizwe Hadebe is embroiled in yet another allegation involving a recording that implies he orchestrated a “jobs for pals” scam.

Njilo, in a brief interview with The Mercury on the damning allegations, said that while the council faced crises, they were still handling the matter.

This view, however, is not shared by Minnesh Parmanand of the Msunduzi Ratepayers Forum who described the council as dysfunctional and unable to deliver basic services, saying its only hope was to be placed under administration.

“The people of Msunduzi should not despair, these kinds of things happen and we will deal with them,” said Njilo.

“I have not heard the content of the latest recording, but once it has been brought to me I will have to institute a legal process and seek legal advice on how we handle this matter going forward. This will be a separate process to the one the council is already undertaking,” he said.

Allegations

On Wednesday last week the council authorised that a law firm be hired to investigate allegations that Hadebe had directed junior officials to fix interview scores and employ a candidate preferred by politicians.

The latest recording, leaked on Thursday last week but which was recorded in 2016, implies that Hadebe, under the instruction of a senior politician, organised a job in the council for a former DA member who joined the ANC.

In the recording, one of the managers being directed to sign off on the appointment is heard questioning whether the person being appointed was qualified.

An assessment from the Human Resources department at the municipality seen by The Mercury, also raised concerns that the candidate was not qualified.

DA councillor Sibongiseni Majola said they will be going back to the council to demand that it takes action against Hadebe. 

“There are already similar allegations against this man, and the new ones are damning.”

IFP councillor, Thinasonke Ntombela, said: “Its clear there has been extensive damage done to this municipality. How many people are being denied employment because the council is employing in this manner. The government needs to intervene.”

Parmanand called for the municipality to be placed under administration, adding that it has failed to perform even the basics of service delivery duties like fixing potholes.

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the department was assisting Msunduzi deal with its challenges and would continue to fight for good governance.

Mercury