EFF berates Trollip for delay in settling cases
THE EFF has demanded that Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip appear before the public accounts committee to explain why the disciplinary cases against suspended officials are costing the city so much and taking so long to wrap up.
The committee yesterday rejected a scant report on the suspensions, saying it had failed to answer any of their questions.
Instead the report recommended that the municipal public accounts committee (Mpac) regard the cases of suspended officials as being satisfactorily managed by Trollip and the municipality’s audit committee.
This infuriated councillors, who said the report was insufficient and an insult.
In November, the committee asked that city manager Johann Mettler provide a report on the names of attorneys representing the municipality in each case and the reasons for the delays in finalising the cases.
Mpac also requested that the report include the legal costs of each case and the overall costs of the suspensions, including salaries.
What they received was a one-line recommendation that they regard the cases as “being satisfactory managed by the executive mayor and audit committee”.
EFF councillor Lukhanyo Mrara demanded that Trollip be called in to explain at the next Mpac meet- ing next month. “As Mpac we must ask these questions. I don’t expect to be referred to the mayor. The mayor himself must come and account here,” Mrara said.
In November, The Herald reported that the municipality had spent R5.9-million on the salaries of 17 suspended officials, including former chief financial officer Trevor Harper.
Mpac chairwoman Yoliswa Yako also rejected the report.
“I am also just as unhappy with this recommendation; it doesn’t tell me anything. We have also been told that it is outside of our scope as Mpac.”
Yako recommended that the committee ask for a report on suspensions during the 2016-17 financial year, which would fall within Mpac’s scope.
ANC councillor Ncediso Captain refused to debate the report. “I don’t think we should argue. The only question is why the information has not been provided,” he said.
Captain said the committee was being undermined .”There is no way that we request information and we don’t get it.”
ANC councillor Buyelwa Mafaya rejected the report, saying they were being treated like mannequins.
DA councillor Morne Steyn said the councillors were stepping into operational matters.
“To a certain extent the report doesn’t answer questions, but what we need to make sure as a committee is that these cases come to fruition and that they are finalised,” he said.