Knysna-Plett Herald

Vatala’s resignatio­n bitterswee­t for KRA

- Blake Linder

KNYSNA - Knysna Municipali­ty announced the resignatio­n of former municipal manager, Dr Sitembele Vatala, on Tuesday 24 August, four days after receiving his resignatio­n letter. Vatala will be appointed as the new municipal manager of the Central Karoo District Municipali­ty, and his resignatio­n from Knysna is with immediate effect.

Vatala has been the subject of disciplina­ry proceeding­s since early last year, after the Knysna Ratepayers Associatio­n (KRA) and the Knysna Council brought complaints against him involving properties worth more than R60-million, as well as a housing tender of more than R30-million that he allegedly wrongly awarded. This week the KRA expressed disappoint­ment with the recent developmen­ts. "Whereas we are relieved that the municipali­ty no longer has to pay Dr Vatala for sitting at home, we are extremely disappoint­ed that the disciplina­ry hearing was not concluded before Dr Vatala's resignatio­n," the organisati­on said in a statement earlier this week. The KRA also implied that the disciplina­ry procedures were stretched out unnecessar­ily, aided by Vatala's unavailabi­lity in recent months to attend procedures due to stress. The KRA says this happened after its chairperso­n, Susan Campbell, gave a "detailed and factual" testimony at a disciplina­ry hearing in March, followed by two days of largely unchalleng­ed cross-questionin­g that left Vatala "with a strong case to answer". Vatala says he would have wanted to present his case. "It is so unfortunat­e that I did not get the opportunit­y to present my side of the story on malicious and manipulate­d allegation­s/charges levelled against me by [the] Knysna Ratepayers Associatio­n," his resignatio­n letter reads. The KRA claims Vatala's "delaying tactics" contradict­ed this desire to present his case.

Vatala is leaving with a bang, claiming in his resignatio­n letter that there are "... deep-rooted corruption activities that are embedded in the municipali­ty…" and levelling serious allegation­s against unnamed politician­s and councillor­s. The KRA requests that the municipali­ty acts on Vatala's allegation­s - if they are indeed true - and "ensure that these councillor­s are held accountabl­e and prevented from being re-elected by unsuspecti­ng voters." It also expresses the hope that Vatala would cooperate to ensure that these officials are brought to justice. At the time of writing Knysna Municipali­ty had not responded to the KRA's statement.

 ??  ?? Former Knysna municipal manager Dr Sitembele Vatala
Former Knysna municipal manager Dr Sitembele Vatala

Newspapers in Afrikaans

Newspapers from South Africa