Hadebe BnB bills cause out­rage

Msun­duzi asks why it pays city man­ager’s room ren­tals

The Witness - - NEWS - — Wit­ness Re­porter. • newsed@wit­ness.co.za

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.

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