The MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Xolile Nqatha, has finally indicated that his department will be intervening in the irregular appointments of the Chief Financial Officer and Municipal Manager of the Inxuba Yethemba Local Municipality.
The matter of the irregular appointment of Khathustshelo Lucky Mulaudzi as the Chief Financial Officer by the acting Speaker, Sibongile Victor Masawe, during a council meeting beset with issues, was brought to MEC Nqatha’s attention in February already. Masawe did not allow for the matter to go to a vote and refused to call for a division when the flawed process was steamrolled through council.
Later, the DA again called for the intervention of the MEC when the ANC-led council unilaterally appointed Mkhululi Whitey Mbebe as the new Municipal Manager. Mbebe is implicated in an investigation in terms of section 106 for maladministration and is currently in court for his alleged involvement in stock theft.
After continuous letters from the Democratic Alliance to MEC Nqatha, as well as several protests from residents in IYLM, it appears that headway has finally been made.
In a response to an oral question posed to the MEC during a plenary sitting of the provincial legislature last week, MEC Nqatha stated that his Department is investigating the Council procedures, in line with the Council rules, that lead to the resolutions to appoint Masawe and Mbebe.
MEC Nqatha said he has “dispatched a team of Senior Department of Officials to investigate all the matters related to this allegation and some with regards to the recruitment of Senior Managers.”
The Democratic Alliance welcomes this intervention by COGTA. The situation in the Inxuba Yethemba Municipality remains extremely volatile.
If rogue municipalities are allowed to and continue to be a law onto themselves, disregarding the letter of the law and their own rules of Council, it will result in the abandonment of the very foundations of democracy.
In instances like these, it is vital for the provincial government to act in terms of their Constitutional mandate to intervene in local government, especially when local authorities continue to showcase that they are unable to handle their own affairs.