City boss told to leave work again

THE Polokwane municipality says the 60-day suspension period of manager Letsepe Thubakgale, has not lapsed.

This was in response to claims by Thubakgale and his lawyers that the 60 days ended on Monday.

Thubakgale surprised people when he returned to work on Wednesday, claiming his suspension was over.

Thubakgale said the municipality had also failed to charge him formally.

He was suspended on May 28 after allegations of incompetence and failing to cooperate with other municipal officials.

He was also accused of inflating the price of speed cameras the municipality had bought.

The municipality alleged that Thubakgale had claimed the cameras cost R700000 each, while they in fact cost R135000 each.

Municipal spokesperson Simon Mokoatedi said Thubakgale and his lawyers "got it all wrong".

"The 60 days, according to policy, referred only to working days and excluded weekends and holidays," said Mokoatedi.

Mokoatedi said the suspension will lapse sometime in August.

He said Thubakgale was formally presented with the charges yesterday.

Thubakgale confirmed that he had been formally charged.

He said he was consulting with his lawyers about his next move.

"For now I will stay at home until my lawyers tell me what the next step will be," Thubakgale said.

Mokoatedi said a date for Thubakgale to appear before the municipality's disciplinary hearing had also been set.

But he refused to give details.

Thubakgale said yesterday he was looking forward to clearing his name at the hearing.

Meanwhile, the 25 employees of the Polokwane municipality who were arrested on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property following the strike by members of the South African Municipal Workers Union were all released on warning yesterday.

Their case has been postponed to August 11.