Are Council minutes cooked? That is the vexed question…

The controversy over ‘cooked’ minutes at Endumeni Council meetings continues to dog the Council – even in the new year.
While tempers were considerably cooler than in previous meetings, Friday’s Council meeting was again marred by what the ANC Councillors said manipulated minutes from a previous Executive Committee (Exco) meeting.
The thorny issue was the appointment of a municipal manager.
The ANC alleged that acting municipal manager, Boxer Mpontshane’s tenure had legally ended on November 21 and any decision taken since then could be challenged in Court.
In terms of legislation, the MEC of Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs needs to ratify an extension of any three-month acting appointment.
The ANC Councillors said Exco’s decision was that Council should appoint one of two municipal managers as recommended by COGTA.

More on Endumeni Council:

Forensic Council probe is on, COGTA confirms 

Council spat continues between IFP, ANC

Endumeni Council meeting descends into shouting match as ANC …

Endumeni Council again fails to sit as ANC walks out again …
However, Mayor Richard Mbatha read out a letter from COGTA MEC Dube-Ncube, dated December 22, where she formally extends Mr Mpontshane’s appointment to February 22. ANC Councillors, Mdluli and Mahaye, said the minutes from the Exco meeting in November are inaccurate as there was no recommendation that Mr Mpontshane continues to act until such time Council considers the candidates recommended by COGTA to act as municipal manager.
“There was never a resolution taken to ask the MEC to extend Mr Mpontshane’s acting term.
“It is clear that minutes have been manipulated,” Mr Mahaye contended.
Recording meetings
The DA’s Anthon Raubenheimer said in the absence of his colleague, Dr Sandy Bedassi, who serves on Exco, he could not comment directly on the veracity of the minutes as he was not at the Exco meeting – however, he recommended that a thorough investigation be done and the minutes sent back to Exco for verification.
Councillor Mdluli said the transcript of the Exco meeting should be listened to again and in future, the ANC would be taping the meetings themselves.

Speaker, Bongiwe Mbatha, said she would have to look at the legislation to see if this was legal. She added that previously ANC Councillors had walked out of meetings which had to be abandoned and this was stopping service delivery.

Mayor Mbatha said Council can look at the minute-taking process but wanted the meeting to progress to ensure ‘there is service delivery’.

Councillor Mdluli said it was not their intention to prevent meetings from taking place. However, he commented that no decisions could have been taken by Council after the ANC had previously walked out as the Council would have been inquorate.

He said he wanted to the decision to probe the minutes placed on record and the meeting continued. Councillor Raubenheimer was concerned that items on agenda, including the appointment of a Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Services Manager and a full time Municipal Manager should have first gone to Exco for consideration instead of going straight to the Council.

He read out legislation confirming this. Mayor Mbatha asked for a caucus for the governance alliance to discuss the issue.

When the meeting resumed, the Council went into committee – meaning the public gallery had to be cleared – while the Council presumably proceeded to discuss the appointments.

 

  AUTHOR
Northern Natal Courier

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