Man­ager ‘ran pri­vate busi­ness’

HR woman sus­pended for us­ing mu­nic­i­pal re­sources for tu­tor­ing busi­ness

Weekend Witness - - News - SANELISIWE SHAMASE

YET an­other se­nior man­ager em­ployed by the Msun­duzi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity has been sus­pended, this time for flout­ing coun­cil rules.

Se­nior hu­man re­sources man­ager Lu­lama Mbatha is now the sixth se­nior of­fi­cial to be sus­pended and may face for­mal charges.

City hall in­sid­ers say Mbatha was es­corted out of the build­ing by mu­nic­i­pal se­cu­rity ear­lier this month.

This af­ter she was al­legedly busted for op­er­at­ing her pri­vate busi­ness from her of­fice.

Week­end Wit­ness has been told Mbatha was al­legedly run­ning a tu­tor­ing busi­ness on the side.

Al­le­ga­tions are that Mbatha was us­ing mu­nic­i­pal re­sources such as mak­ing pho­to­copies and phone calls for the ben­e­fit of her pri­vate busi­ness.

Ear­lier last month, The Wit­ness re­ported that the ad­min­is­tra­tion team was clamp­ing down on moon­light­ing by full-time em­ploy­ees of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

This af­ter they re­ceived count­less com­plaints from mem­bers of the pub­lic who said some mu­nic­i­pal work­ers were not at­tend­ing to them timeously be­cause they were be­ing dis­tracted by their pri­vate jobs.

It was de­cided that those who want to do pri­vate work out­side of their nor­mal mu­nic­i­pal du­ties first have to ap­ply and get writ­ten ap­proval from the mu­nic­i­pal man­ager.

Such ap­proval would only be granted on the ba­sis that pri­vate work would take place out­side of coun­cil work­ing hours and that mu­nic­i­pal re­sources would not be used for such pri­vate work.

Re­gard­ing Mbatha’s sus­pen­sion, Msun­duzi ad­min­is­tra­tor Jo­hann Met­tler is­sued the fol­low­ing state­ment: “This is part of our on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into mal­prac­tices within the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. We hope to for­mu­late for­mal charges soon and will com­ment on the sub­stance of the al­le­ga­tions at that time. In the event that there are oth­ers, we will un­cover and bring them to book.”

Asked for com­ment, Mbatha stated the fol­low­ing: “I can’t com­ment at this stage be­cause I don’t know the na­ture of the charges”.

Mbatha joins deputy mu­nic­i­pal man­ager for com­mu­nity ser­vices Zwe Hu­lane, pro­cure­ment man­ager Francis Gran­tham, deputy mu­nic­i­pal man­ager for hu­man re­sources Kevin Perumal, chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Roy Bridg­mo­han and act­ing pub­lic safety man­ager Kenny Chetty on the list of sus­pended man­agers who are still wait­ing to be charged by Met­tler and his team.

Last year, Mbatha was sec­onded to Oribi Air­port af­ter there was strong sup­port for her to be­come the air­port man­ager.

How­ever, sources al­lege that her stint was short-lived be­cause she was not qual­i­fied or ex­pe­ri­enced enough to suc­ceed in the po­si­tion.

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