MUNICIPAL BOSS HASWELL RESIGNS

EMBATTLED Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) municipality manager Rob Haswell has resigned despite his contract being only due to end next year.

EMBATTLED Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) municipality manager Rob Haswell has resigned despite his contract being only due to end next year.

His resignation is effective from April 1.

Haswell, 65, has been blamed by the disbanded executive council, led by ex-mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo, of making unpopular decisions that plunged the council into a financial crisis.

His resignation comes barely a week after the ANC reshuffled the leadership of the council.

Haswell has been away from work after taking stress-related leave. Kevin Perumal has been acting as municipal manager.

The council was embroiled in controversy as allegations of financial mismanagement and maladministration were levelled against seniorleaders.

In January, cooperative governance MEC Nomusa Dube appointed a team of experts to formulate a turnaround strategy in the ANC-led municipality.

But the decision seems not to have yielded success as officials refused to cooperate with the team.

The team, led by administrator Johann Mettler, is still investigating the cause of the current situation in the council.

Hlatshwayo had also accused Haswell and his managers of poor decision-making. Haswell has been on the defensive, and it has been difficult to get comment from him since he went on leave.

Hlatshwayo had also accused Haswell of being unavailable when he was supposed to account to the exco.

A week ago, the ANC provincial leadership appointed Mike Tarr as the new mayor.

Tarr said there would be no golden handshake for Haswell, adding he would get only his pension benefits.

The IFP and DA havewelcomed Haswell'sresignation.

IFP councillor Dolo Zondi said they were opposed to Haswell's appointment as they had no faith in him.

"All senior managers must be investigated as they were also responsible for the municipality's financial mess," said Zondi.

X