DA rejects big PAYOUT

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

The DA will oppose a more than R300000 settlement offer the ANC has dangled before the suspended manager of Lekwa Municipal.

The package, equivalent to six months' salary, amounts to R321700.

The opposition party yesterday was adamant that it would seek a legal remedy to block the payment.

In a written submission to council, the DA contends that the Lekwa executive mayor, Queen Radebe, was not mandated by council to negotiate a settlement package with her municipal manager Calvin Ngubeni.

They are unhappy, especially because of allegations of maladministration, misconduct, fraud and other irregularities, which were brought to the council's attention last year.

This follows a section 106 investigation report initiated by local government MEC Candith Mashego-Dlamini.

To date, the Lekwa council has not acted on the findings in spite of a council resolution taken in November last year to report back to council by December 15.

The date was extended.

At a meeting on November 25, the Lekwa council unanimously resolved that Khumalo suspend Ngubeni with immediate effect.

The suspension was only implemented last week.

Based on a letter from Ngubeni, settlement discussions between Khumalo and Ngubeni were held on December 11.

Khumalo's proposal of a four-month or five-month settlement offer was rejected by the municipality manager.

Khumalo agreed to Ngubeni's request.

This formed part of the settlement agreement approved by council at Tuesday's special meeting.

In view of the fact that the ANC-led council has ignored the stated council resolutions, DA members opposed the settlement proposal.

The party intends to seek a legal remedy in order to have closure on the allegations of fraud, mismanagement, maladministration and other irregularities under Khumalo's administration.

DA councillor Rosier de Ville says the party can no longer follow accepted channels of communication in order to affect transparent and effective local government.

De Ville also said that she would exploit all legal channels available in order to redress the position.