Questions over validity of the decision to extend acting municipal manager’s tenure

The conundrum facing the Endumeni Council: is the resolution to extend the tenure of acting municipal manager, Boxer Mpontshane, valid or invalid?
Both the DA – which is in a co-governance set-up with the IFP and EFF in Endumeni – and the ANC have said that the minutes of the Executive Committee (EXCO) meeting were manipulated as there was never any resolution to extend Mr Mpontshane’s acting capacity beyond November 21, 2017.
At a Council meeting in January, Mayor Richard Mbatha read out a letter from the MEC of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in KZN, confirming that his, Mr Mpontshane’s, contract would be extended as per the request of the Council.
“We do not recognise the legitimacy of Mr Mpontshane’s extension as we did not resolve as alleged in the letter to and or from COGTA,” said the DA’s Dr Sandy Bedassi who also serves on EXCO.
“To falsify records or any other documentation is a serious misconduct and disciplinary steps must be taken against the perpetrator/s.
“As the Democratic Alliance, we cannot act in violation of the Municipal Systems Act and are therefore of the opinion that any action taken by Mr Mpontshane in his capacity as the acting municipal manager as from November 22, 2017, would be unwarranted authority as this was done without the approval of EXCO and Council, and would be deemed null and void.
“Therefore, we distance ourselves from actions of Mr Mpontshane and more specifically from the interview processes for Section 56 and 57 employees – Municipal Manager, Corporate Services Manager and Financial Manager.”


“This could spell disaster for Endumeni as the adjustment budget should have already been approved and lodged with Treasury by the end of January which has not been done.

The ANC’s Siduduzo Mdluli told the Courier that ‘Endumeni has not had a valid municipal manager from November 22, 2017 and it is a legal requirement that a municipality has an accounting officer at all times due to the control of public funds.’
“This could spell disaster for Endumeni as the adjustment budget should have already been approved and lodged with Treasury by the end of January which has not been done.
“We have reported the fabrication of the said resolution and the fact that there has been no approval of an adjustment budget to the MEC for Finance and are awaiting a response.”
He went on to say that ‘we are shocked by the irresponsible actions of the Speaker, Mayor and Mr Mpontshane as they have said they were at an EXCO meeting when the resolution was taken to extend his tenure – a decision that does not exist, yet they send a letter to the MEC with a fabricated resolution thinking that no one would notice.
“Astoundingly, we see advertised posts citing Mr Mpontshane as acting municipal manager. Inevitably, all appointments and actions done by him will be deemed null and void and will be reviewable in court as his appointment (the extension thereof) is illegal. These actions are a blatant disregard of the rule of the law and puts all ratepayers of Endumeni at risk.”

Mayor and Speaker’s office said allegations an attempt to ‘besmirch’

However, Speaker Bongiwe Mbatha and Mayor Richard Mbatha told the Courier that the claim that EXCO did not resolve to extend Mr Mpontshane’s contract was an attempt at besmirching the said Councillors.
“The Mayor’s office confirms that three parties (ANC, DA and IFP) represented on EXCO agreed to the extension at the November 6 meeting. An audio recording confirms this.
“Council was to have ratified the decision on December 14 but the ANC Councillors walked out of that meeting. A second attempt to re-convene the meeting did not materialise as the ANC Councillors were at their national conference.”
The joint statement continued that the Municipality relied ‘on the EXCO resolution of December 6, supported by the Council decision on November 22, where the Council mandated EXCO to re-convene and rectify its meeting minutes as it insinuated misrepresentation.’
“These same EXCO members resolved to extend the acting period of Mr Mpontshane. As said, the ANC walked out of the December 14 meeting, which became inquorated and did not arrive for the December 21 meeting even though they are in terms of the law, obliged to do so.
“Now, the public must judge who is fooling who.”
“The Speaker recently suggested a meeting with the Chief Whips but the ANC’s Whip did not attend without explanation.
“Engaging us only through the papers is nothing more than seeking cheap publicity.
“They are exposing their veiled, ulterior and destructive motives which lack due diligence in Council matters and processes. A three-day strategic planning meeting for Councillors, in an attempt to harness everyone’s energy, towards a development strategy for all residents, was attended by only five Councillors.
“Yet people are so quick to make futile claims that serve to confuse the public by feeding the distorted information to newspapers.”
The Mayor and Speaker said it is true that Council did not sit to pass the adjustment budget, but have reported this to Treasury and COGTA and ‘are currently working on salvaging the period granted to ensure that this does not result in non-compliance. “We remain committed to serving the rate-payers of Endumeni with due diligence even in the face of dark forces that are hell-bent on playing people and taking the eyes off the ball in the process.”

Northern KZN Courier

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