Hadebe BnB bills cause outrage
Msunduzi asks why it pays city manager’s room rentals
AS the acting city manager continues to come under fire, questions are being raised about why Msunduzi is still funding his monthly accommodation bill.
This after an unverified invoice made out for the accommodation of Sizwe Hadebe was leaked to The Witness.
The invoice shows that R22 149 was charged for 30 nights (June 10 to July 10) in the Greenlands Guesthouse in Hosking Road.
However, according to the owner of the establishment, Michele de Souza, Hadebe was billed just R12 600 for that period and stays in her Extended Stays Executive Apartments and not in the Greenlands Bed and Breakfast section.
De Souza said she had been given permission by Hadebe to share the invoice she made out for Hadebe’s stay for that period.
She said Hadebe is in a selfcatering unit and gets complimentary laundry services and his room is serviced three times a week, not every day.
The rate charged for that period, reflected on the invoice sent to City of Choice Travel, was R420 per night.
Hadebe has been staying at Extended Stays Executive Apartments since August 2016.
When approached by The Witness, Brenda Roopai of City of Choice Travel said that they had signed a confidentiality agreement with Msunduzi and she was not prepared to comment on the differences in the amounts at all, before hanging up.
However, copies of some of the invoices from City of Choice Travel and signed off by Msunduzi were leaked to The Witness.
These show that from June last year to May, Msunduzi has forked out almost R164 501 to accommodation establishments for Hadebe to stay in them.
This amount does not include invoices for August and December, which were missing.
The signedoff invoice for June 10 to July 10 was also missing.
The other establishments Hadebe has stayed in include Redlands Hotel, Southern Sun Pietermaritzburg, Yes Please Lodge and Brevisbrook Bed and Breakfast.
Sources opposed to Hadebe’s tenure at City Hall said it was an outrage that residents are still being forced to fund his accommodation when he is earning a manager’s salary.
But Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said in her response to questions about this that Hadebe was currently being seconded at the municipality and therefore is entitled to accommodation paid for by Msunduzi.
“He will be accommodated up until his secondment lapses in November as we are currently busy with the process of the appointment of the fulltime municipal manager, which is anticipated for December,” said Mafumbatha.
She did not respond to the issue of the differences in the amounts on the two invoices.
Hadebe did not respond to attempts by The Witness to get his comment by the time of going to press. As mounting opposition to Hadebe’s occupation of the acting city manager post grows, both within the ANC caucus and outside, residents are waiting to see if he will be appointed as the city manager, a post he has been acting in since June 2016.
Opposition parties and most recently Cosatu have blasted the City’s performance under his leadership.
There is much speculation that the position has been held in abeyance until Hadebe receives qualifications needed by the incumbent of the top city boss post.
Hadebe, also known as Adolph Slindokuhle Hadebe, was appointed in June 2016 for a threemonth contract after Cogta recommended him for the post.
Days after his appointment, controversy arose when it was discovered he had an allegedly chequered past.
The Sunday Times reported in 2012 that Hadebe was suspended while at Ekurhuleni Municipality after an SIU probe into a contract for water meter installations by LesiraTeq.
According to the newspaper, the company was “secretly awarded a threeyear R205 million contract … without following proper procurement procedures”.
Hadebe was also the deputy chair of the National Water Advisory Council that advised Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, and had previously been employed by the City of Johannesburg when LesiraTeq scored a R170 million deal to install water meters there, reported the Sunday Times.
Despite allegations against him, Msunduzi said their hands were tied and Hadebe would continue managing the city.
When Hadebe’s threemonth contract ended it was extended until the year end when the municipal manager’s post was advertised.
Over 16 months later, Hadebe is still in the post as the acting municipal manager.
The department maintained at the time that the allegations against Hadebe surfaced, that the onus was on the City to conduct background checks.
The legality of Hadebe’s signature on documents has also been challenged after opposition parties and others said he was acting illegally.
This is because no one can act as a city manager for more than six months, according to the Local Government Municipal Systems Amendment Act.