Councillors from across the political spectrum agreed that the suspension of Hadebe will pave the way for thorough investigations into alleged wrong doing by the city’s top official.
Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo said Thursday’s full council decision was an indication of the municipality’s determination to clampdown on maladministration regardless of the position of the officials implicated.
“We are confident that the investigation will take place without any hindrances and also enable the municipality to function normally,” Njilo told Capital Newspapers.
Hadebe did not attend the sitting, something that raised a few eyebrows, but the Mayor said he did not view the manager’s absence as a sign of disrespect. “The special council sitting initially had only one item and that was my report which spoke of the city manager. Because he is generally recused from such discussions he (Hadebe)thought there was no need for him to attend today’s meeting,” explained Njilo.
The investigation will be conducted by Sithembele Mhlanga of Mhlanga Attorneys and will probe allegations of misconduct including illegal appointments and interference in the awarding of lucrative contracts.
Rienus Niemand from the ACDP said they were encouraged by the council’s move and felt vindicated after numerous calls by the party for action to be taken against Hadebe. “Our continuous exposure of corruption and insistence on clean government has made them realise their folly. As this is only the tip of the iceberg we are confident that the investigation will be the start of exposing endemic corruption at Msunduzi,” said Niemand. The ACDP has also filed criminal charges against Hadebe.
DA caucus leader Sibongiseni Majola said they are hoping for an in-depth investigation which will also allow evidence from all interested parties.
“We are eager to have our day with the investigator so that we can present evidence in the form of documentation,” said Majola. The DA leader added that they want to see all the appointments made, contracts that were awarded and decisions on disciplinary hearings that were presided over by the now suspended city boss.
ANC councillor Sandile Dlamini said they were keen to see the process through as it would show the ruling party’s commitment to clean governance.
“The PEC pronounced on the determination to analyse and intervene on municipalities where there are challenges and this is what we are doing,” said Dlamini who has been one of Hadebe’s leading critics.
Also read: Breaking news: City boss suspended
An acting city manager is still to be announced and is likely to be discussed and concluded at Monday’s council sitting.