Ex-municipal manager dies

THE former manager of Modimolle municipality, Charles Powell, has died.

Powell, 46, died at FH Odendaal Hospital in Modimolle on Tuesday.

It is not yet clear what the cause of his death was but some believe it could be stress-related.

"Powell had been living a stressful life since his fallout with the municipality two years ago," said a source who did not wish to be identified.

Powell was suspended, together with the municipality's chief financial officer Matshidiso Segwapa in June 2008 on allegations of financial mismanagement.

The two were dismissed in June last year.

They subsequently challenged their dismissals and the matter was scheduled to be heard in the Pretoria high court on March 9.

Late last year the council was divided after an alleged instruction from premier Cassel Mathale that Powell be reinstated to his post.

Following the alleged instruction, Powell returned to work but it was only for a short period.

Some councillors and members of the community teamed up to take legal action to stop the reinstatement and the preliminary court ruling was in their favour.

Municipal speaker Mamokgalake Mashao said Powell suffered complications three weeks ago and was admitted to hospital.

"As council we are really saddened by the passing on of Powell, who had contributed immensely to the development of the area during his tenure as municipal manager," Mashao said.

Mashao said they would miss Powell's advices, "both politically and administratively".