TWO of the five eThekwini municipal employees who were demoted after acting as supervisors for more than 10 years have been summoned to appear before a disciplinary hearing for misconduct.

The two are being hauled before a disciplinary committee for speaking to Sowetan.

According to a letter in possession of Sowetan Alex Zikhali and Dumisani Xulu have been summoned to a hearing on Monday.

The letter says the two are charged with misconduct and must be disciplined because they failed to "obey reasonable instructions" when they "allegedly made reports to Sowetanwithout seeking prior permission from your superiors".

It further states that the two disclosed privileged information to Sowetan.

Zikhali said the latest developments smacked of "intimidation".

"As far as I am concerned I did not breach any legislation because for the past 12 years I have been acting swimming pool supervisor," Zikhali said.

"We were not told of any law prohibiting us from voicing out grievances.

"We had followed all the necessary channels to have this matter addressed to no avail.

"Actually, they are trying to intimidate us because they know they are in the wrong."

Xulu shared Zikhali's sentiments. The jobs they occupied were given to new recruits.

Shop steward Innocent Chamane said it was against the policies of the municipality to employ people from outside.

"There is no way thatpeople can be acting for so long and not get appointed when an opportunity arises," Chamane said.

"Unless it is an affirmative action issue, where you have to balance by employing women, it is a breach of legislation."

Municipal officials who spoke to Sowetan before were not available to comment yesterday.