Botho Community Movement councillor Ofentse Kombe has described the resignation of the Rustenburg municipal manager as unfortunate. Photo: supplied.

RUSTENBURG - The resignation of Rustenburg municipal manager Nqobile Ngema was "unfortunate", the Botho Community Movement (BCM) said on Tuesday.

"We view the resignation of the municipal manager as very unfortunate. We wish her well in all her future endeavours. There has definitely been positives since the appointment of the incumbent. We recognise the fact that the presence of the municipal manager brought much needed financial stability to the institution,"  said Ofentse Kombe, BCM councillor in the municipality. Kombe serves as a mayoral committee member responsible for local economic development.

In her resignation letter, Ngema spoke about constant "attacks" on her office, including being labelled a "Zulu girl".

Council accepted Ngema's resignation and she was expected to vacate office by May 3.

Her resignation came following allegations she had been stripped of her power. 

A whistleblower claimed the council took an unlawful decision to amend statutory powers and functions of the municipal manager at its ordinary council sitting on March 26.

According to the whistleblower, Ngema was standing in the way of high ranking officials who wanted to "loot the municipality".

"Council disregarded delegations of power adopted in 2005 where it is stipulated that in the absence of the municipal manager, the chief financial officer has the delegation followed by the technical director. In the absence of the aforementioned, the delegation goes to any of the other remainder of directors." said the whistleblower, who did not want to be identified.

On March 30, the municipality issued a statement warning of a social media smear campaign against the municipality by unknown people and also refuted claims that Ngema was subjected to constructive dismissal. 

The municipality said the attacks started in October 2018 after the council took a decision not to appoint Obadia Mokonyama as director for corporate support services, but instead re-advertised the position. 

"The panel had indeed recommended Obadia Mokonyama for appointment but council deliberated on the report and it was apparent that there was non- compliance with provisions in the regulations on appointment of senior managers during the selection process, which would have rendered any appointment null and void," the municipality said.

The whistleblower said Mokonyama's contract was being reviewed because he challenged the council for not appointing him as a director. He is the legal advisor in the office of the municipal manager. 

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) councillor in the municipality, Jane Mpolokeng, said Ngema had been "under pressure".

"We are not surprised that the municipal manager resigned, she was under tremendous pressure to sign-off contracts without council resolutions, there is also non-implementation of council resolutions,"  she said.

African News Agency (ANA)