The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape has written to Premier Oscar Mabuyane and have requested that he urgently intervenes in Nelson Mandela Bay to ensure that Johann Mettler is reinstated as City Manager.
The ongoing disciplinary case against Mettler is little more than a witch hunt, and the consequences of his ongoing suspension could cost the city billions.
National Treasury has seemingly made good on its threat to recall in excess of R3-billion in funds made available to the City since the inception of the Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) conditional grant. Treasury has written to the Acting City Manager, Noxolo Nqwazi, and informed her that it will start recouping this money by withholding R800-million of the Metro’s equitable share allocation.
The issues raised by National Treasury relate to the forensic audit report on the IPTS, and the findings and recommendations which have not been actioned.
This forensic report, which deals with fraud and corruption within the IPTS project, was originally commissioned by Mettler, at the request of National Treasury.
Mettler furnished National Treasury with regular updates in respect of the progress with findings made in the report. After he was placed on special leave by the Council, no further action was forthcoming.
It is also telling that all the charges in the disciplinary hearing brought against Mettler have been abandoned, except for outstanding charges that relate to advice given to council on the 27th of August 2018.
The loss of grant funding and /or equitable share could possibly be prevented if Mettler is reinstated and allowed to finish the work that he started.
He has a proven track record of taking decisive and appropriate administrative action and the DA demands he be returned to his position.
The DA in Nelson Mandela Bay has written to the Speaker of Council, Cllr Buyelwa Mafaya, to ensure that the matter of reinstating Mettler is placed on the agenda of the Council meeting scheduled for 27 February 2020.
We will make use of this Council meeting to drive the issue of having Mettler reinstated, and are meeting with other parties to muster support in this regard.