Johannesburg – Rand West municipal manager Themba Goba has been suspended after being fingered in the misappropriation of funds and found guilty of gross misconduct in a forensic report.
The council took the decision on Thursday despite the absence of speaker Violet Mzondeki, who reportedly sent a late apology.
Earlier this month, Cooperative Governance MEC Lebogang Maile instructed the council to take urgent steps to suspend Goba pending a disciplinary inquiry.
Confirming the suspension, mayoral spokesperson Tshidiso Tlharipe said they had given two opportunities to the municipal manager to make representation and he had not done so.
The municipality said Goba failed to present compelling evidence on why he should not be suspended and subjected to a disciplinary process.
“The council deemed it fit that it should put the (municipal manager) on precautionary suspension for a period of three months while investigations and disciplinary processes are undertaken,” he said.
Tlharipe added he had noted the intention to challenge the report, adding that the municipality will oppose that review application once filed.
“The council has given the mayor the power to appoint a panel of competent individuals who are going to sit on the disciplinary committee,” Tlharipe said.
An interim city manager has also been voted in while the processes must be completed in a period of three months.
Political parties believe that the absence of the Rand West council speaker Mzondeki and Goba from Thursday’s scheduled sitting was a deliberate attempt to stall the process of removing Goba.
The municipality confirmed that the speaker sent an apology at 10am, just 30 minutes before the meeting was set to start.
Meanwhile, Goba absconded, with the mayor, saying she did not receive any notice, as required.
The mayor, in her opening of council, deemed Goba’s conduct to abscond the session inappropriate. The duo will face a disciplinary inquiry.
Goba recently came under fire for corruption for allegedly paying a former senior manager (Zavanai Katikiti as published on IOL on March 18, 2021) his full salary despite him being deported.
Zavanai Katikiti, 38, a former manager for financial control and reporting at the municipality, was deported to Zimbabwe in September last year by the Department of Home Affairs for allegedly contravening immigration laws. Katikiti was able to access his money although he was already in Zimbabwe.