Municipal manager out on bail

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Embattled Umzinyathi district municipal manager Otto Kunene appeared in the Dundee magistrates' court on a charge of attempted rape yesterday.

He was granted R2000 bail.

Kunene is charged with the attempted rape of his colleague two weeks ago. The woman also claims in a 10-page statement that it was not for the first time that Kunene had tried to force himself on her.

Kunene's bail conditions prohibit him from communicating with staff and coming near or entering the municipal offices.

District mayor Mbangiseni Yengwa said the council will convene a meeting tomorrow to look into the matter. He said it was important for the council to comply with the court's decision.

"We will make our decision public because this matter is of public interest," said Yengwa.

Mhlanganyelwa Zulu, an ANC councillor, said: "A person is innocent until proven guilty by a court of law, and at the moment Kunene has not been found guilty. So jumping to conclusions and deciding on his fate would be constitutionally, morally and legally wrong," said Zulu.

It's not the first time that Kunene has landed in hot water. Last year he was criticised for suspending former communication's manager Vusi Mdletshe for "failing to fully perform his duties". Kunene was also criticised for being a dictator and running the municipality like a "spaza shop".