Lack of agen­das halt meet­ing

... while con­tracts take cen­tre stage in EMLM coun­cil dis­cus­sions

The Rep - - NEWS - ANDISA BONANI

AN ENOCH Mgi­jima Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity meet­ing turned to chaos soon af­ter it started on Fri­day as coun­cil­lors raised queries about the lack of agen­das.

The bick­er­ing started when EFF coun­cil­lor Luthando Amos asked whether the meet­ing was an or­di­nary or a spe­cial meet­ing since coun­cil­lors had not re­ceived agen­das.

Speaker Mzox­olo Peter said, “I signed off the agen­das the pre­vi­ous Fri­day, there­fore I do not un­der­stand how the agen­das could not have reached coun­cil­lors in time.”

He said the meet­ing was a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing.

Act­ing mu­nic­i­pal man­ager (MM) Mzox­olo Din­gani claimed to have re­ceived an in­struc­tion from some­one, whose name he did not re­veal, whom he said had told him not to hand out the agen­das.

Peter said such an in­struc­tion would be out of or­der and that he would fol­low up on the mat­ter.

DA coun­cil­lor Chris de Wet said there could be no of­fi­cial meet­ing as coun­cil­lors had not re­ceived the agen­das in time and there­fore could not pre­pare. Coun­cil agreed to a 10-minute re­cess for mem­bers to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the agen­das. The me­dia was told not to re­turn to the spe­cial closed meet­ing.

A copy of the agenda was how­ever leaked with one of the is­sues the con­tracts of se­nior man­agers which had ex­pired.The Rep has copies of let­ters writ­ten by mayor Lindiwe Gunuza-Nk­wentsha in­form­ing for­mer Tsol­wana Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of­fi­cials Sim­ilo Dayi, Moun­tain Siqaza and Zan­dis­ile Nx­ano about the ter­mi­na­tion of their con­tracts.

In a let­ter dated Septem­ber 26, Gunuza-Nk­wentsha wrote to the act­ing MM, in­struct­ing him to in­ves­ti­gate how Dayi had been re­port­ing for duty and had re­ceived a salary in Septem­ber de­spite be­ing in­formed about the end of his fixed-term con­tract on Au­gust 31. The mayor wrote to the act­ing MM again on Oc­to­ber 4, stat­ing that her of­fice still had not re­ceived a re­port with re­gard to how Dayi had re­ceived a salary af­ter his con­tract had been ter­mi­nated.

The let­ter reads, “Kindly ad­vise as a mat­ter of ur­gency what steps you have taken to rem­edy the sit­u­a­tion and in par­tic­u­lar the ir­reg­u­lar pay­ment of a salary for a se­nior man­ager whose con­tract ex­pired without any al­ter­na­tive ar­range­ments be­ing agreed upon.”

In a le­gal opin­ion doc­u­ment from Dayi’s lawyers, Nt­siki Pakade At­tor­neys, it was stated that Dayi had been work­ing af­ter his con­tract had ended, sub­jec­tively cre­ated an ex­pec­ta­tion that the con­tract would be re­newed and that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s si­lence on the re­newal of the ini­tial fixed-term con­tract left a lot to be de­sired.

In an­other let­ter to the MM dated Oc­to­ber 4, the mayor queried why Siqaza and Nx­ano had been re­port­ing for duty af­ter coun­cil had re­solved on June 7 that their con­tracts be ter­mi­nated. Their last work­ing day had been on Septem­ber 30.

Gunuza-Nk­wen­stha wrote, “I am afraid that the two man­agers may take de­ci­sions, make agree­ments or in­volve them­selves in sup­ply chain man­age­ment pro­cesses which could stand to be chal­lenged in fu­ture. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity will not be li­able for any claims of com­pen­sa­tion to the two man­agers for any pe­riod dur­ing which they re­ported for duty dur­ing Oc­to­ber. Any per­son who acts con­trary to what coun­cil re­solved, will be per­son­ally held li­able for all and any costs that may arise from such.”

Dayi de­clined to com­ment as he was seek­ing le­gal ad­vice.

An e-mail was sent to EMLM spokesman Fundile Feket­shane for com­ment on the con­tracts of the of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Siqaza and Nx­ano, but no com­ment had been re­ceived at the time of go­ing to press.

Dur­ing Fri­day’s coun­cil meet­ing it was re­solved that the con­tracts of se­nior man­agers should be re­newed for a fur­ther three months.

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