Council shows ‘humanity to previous municipal manager’

Endumeni Council surprised everyone by resolving not to extend the contract of municipal manager, Thabani Biyela, in August. His contract, according to officials, was to have ended on September 30 but the Council resolved to terminate his service in August.
This last week prompted Council Speaker, Bongiwe Mbatha-Makhathini, to suggest to Council that Mr Biyela be paid a month’s salary to make up for this – the amount is around R80 000.
She said Councillors should be ‘fair about this matter and show humanity’.
Councillor Mdluli reminded Council that Mr Biyela had to pay legal fees after he had lost one of his appeal cases. It was alleged that the legal costs amounted to around R700 000.
Three years ago Mr Biyela, was suspended on full pay by the previous council. The case was in and out of court without reaching finality up until there was a settlement between the council and Mr Biyela earlier this year.
The Council, supported by the co-governance coalition of the IFP, DA and EFF, resolved to bring him back in a ‘bid to cut down on fruitless and wasteful expenditure’.
The six ANC Councillors, who have said they ‘would make sure that the Endumeni Council is not functioning until COGTA intervenes.’ did not support the decision.
Asked if Mr Biyela will now bring legal charges against the municipality following the expensive court battle, Mayor Richard Mbatha told the Courier in April this year that, Mr Biyela had signed an indemnity which would prevent him from doing so. “He is here to work and will do so accordingly. The council has advertised the post of Municipal Manager with remuneration of around R930 409 and Mr Biyela is allowed to apply.

Siphiwe Ngwenya

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