The Rep

MM’s contract not renewed

Councillor­s call for community services director to also vacate post


The Enoch Mgijima Local Municipali­ty (EMLM) has resolved not to renew municipal manager Nokuthula Zondani’s contract and has given her a month’s notice to vacate the administra­tion’s top seat.

Meanwhile, EMLM community services director Linda Bolani has been sidelined for failing to produce a response letter of appeal after the Makhanda high court judgment that deemed her appointmen­t to be invalid.

This was revealed by councillor­s who attended an internal special council meeting in which the national cabinet representa­tive, Dr Monde Tom, presented the two items at the Jesus Christ Church premises on Friday.

An councillor who wished to remain anonymous said: “Dr Tom made a presentati­on advising the council on the court judgment of community services director Linda Bolani and on Zondani’s term as the municipal manager, which has reached an end.

“He also gave a way forward on appointing a new municipal manager in her place.”

Zondani, surrounded by a number of controvers­ies over the years in the municipali­ty, had been the head of the institutio­n since 2019.

Bolani was employed as director of community services by Zondani without her position being agreed on by the then co-operative governance and traditiona­l affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha.

The matter was taken to court by the former administra­tor, Monwabisi Somana, who did not approve the appointmen­t.

One of the councillor­s who attended the meeting said the municipal manager did not yield the results they had wanted in EMLM.

“She has not performed, there is no way on earth that she could possibly be reinstated. In fact, she needs to get fired for her lack of performanc­e. She cannot collect revenue, she cannot manage her expenditur­e.

“The Eskom bill is running out of control and is now probably over the R900m mark. This is just plain incompeten­ce at a disgracefu­l level.

“If you are the head of the organisati­on you cannot tell me you did not know about the ghost employees.”

He said there were a myriad of things that had not been done properly which Zondani needed to account for.

The councillor said Bolani should vacate her position.

“The people have been paying her salary, subsequent to the judgment ... she must be taken for review and be forced to pay that money back.”

The second anonymous councillor said the municipal manager’s contract must not be renewed as the municipali­ty’s financial state was now worse than it was previously.

“Linda must go. As a council, we must adhere to the court judgment.”

Another councillor, who also did not want to be indentifie­d, said the municipal manager had given one month’s notice.

“No-one has an interest in having her contract renewed.

“The NCR Dr Monde Tom stated clearly in the council meeting what the opposition parties have been saying for a long time, that the municipal manager had misled the council on several occasions.

“Zondani has failed services in Enoch Mgijima Municipali­ty; the fence of the indoor sports centre has been stripped.

“Mzingisi Sikweyiya Hall has been vandalised, and Ashley Wyngaard has no ablution facilities, yet people are paying money to book these halls.

“There is no need for municipal funds to service the halls, they are supposed to be serviced from money that residents are booking the facilities with. We have no halls. The town hall burned.

“These are the small things which are holding us back as Enoch Mgijima.”

She said the municipal manager’s job was to make sure that her administra­tion was doing well and that services were delivered to the people.

She said in 2019, a letter was sent to Nqatha stating that the appointmen­t of the community service director “did not concur”, but the appointmen­t, which had been a hot topic since, had finally reached its end.

“She said she appealed and the time of the appeal has lapsed but nothing has been brought forward before the council.

“The council took a decision that until she gets the court to respond, and not lawyers, she must stay away from work.”

Questions were sent to EMLM spokespers­on Lonwabo Kowa who told the media to contact Zondani and Bolani.

However, at the time of going to print, Zondani could not be reached.

In response to the media inquiries, Bolani said: “Call the people who were at the meeting and ask them. I did not attend the meeting.”

When asked if she was still working or if she had vacated the office, she abruptly ended the call.

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