Council boss still ducking charges

A Mpumalanga local municipality is yet to formally charge its suspended manager.

Sabelo Shabangu, the municipal manager of Nkomazi municipality in Malelane, was suspended on November 4 last year on allegations ranging from dereliction of duty, nepotism and contravention of the municipal code of conduct.

Since his suspension, the municipality has been struggling to charge him because "his case is a complicated one".

"This case has not been an easy one to tackle as Shabangu keeps on changing his lawyers.

"The municipality has also not been able to verify charges put against him but we are hoping to finalise this matter soon," said the municipality's spokesperson Cyril Ripinga.

Last year eyebrows were raised when the council suspended Shabangu over alleged misconduct.

But today, 10 months later, he is yet to be charged and is earning his salary sitting at home.

Yesterday Shabangu refused to comment, saying he would soon call a mediaconference to give his side of the story.

According to a municipal report on the probe, obtained by Sowetan, Shabangu faces a total of 46 charges that are yet to be tested in a disciplinary hearing.

Among others, the municipality alleges that on October 18 2007, Shabangu irregularly awarded Shama Civil Consulting Engineers JV a tender worth R3,4million. The contract involved distributing water to municipal areas without water supply.