Williams in settlement negotiations

ROLAND WILLIAMS
ROLAND WILLIAMS

If he goes, he will be fourth top official to leave amid disciplinary crackdown

NELSON Mandela Bay municipal communications boss Roland Williams is negotiating a settlement to leave the municipality, his adviser, Brian Brooks, confirmed on Friday.

As some in the municipality claimed Williams had quit yesterday, Brooks, of Global Projects, said: “Mr Williams is in the process of negotiating a settlement with the municipality which we hope will have a positive outcome.”

If he goes, Williams – who was suspended in August – will be the fourth senior manager to quit the municipality under a cloud since mayor Danny Jordaan took over the reins and disciplinary proceedings against several officials began.

Williams faced a string of allegations involving a communications contract awarded last year as well as an all-expenses-paid golfing trip to Paarl.

It is understood the three-year communications contract with a media operations company is under scrutiny amid claims that the company was using municipal office space, telephone lines and equipment while charging the municipality for overheads.

Also, Williams’s golf trip with his wife Shahnaz in March last year was being interrogated as it was sponsored by a media company that had previously printed the municipality ’s magazine, Ubuntu.

Williams previously fobbed off the claims as “really minor issues, all of which can easily be explained”.

Insiders said the metro’s investigators had uncovered additional information against Williams which was going to be added to his charge sheet.

This came as others claimed a preliminary case against him was not very strong.

Acting city manager Mzwakhe Clay said he had not been informed of any resignation by Williams as yet.

“As far as I know, the disciplinary cases are still continuing, but I know our lawyers and his lawyers have been engaging.

“I’m sure I would be the first person to be notified if he resigned and I have not been informed of anything,” Clay said. In July, Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) boss Mhleli Tshamase resigned under a cloud, just days before he was to give reasons why he should not be suspended following numerous allegations of dodgy dealings with the IPTS.

Former city manager Mpilo Mbambisa resigned last month and received a R1.047-million payout to avoid a lengthy and costly disciplinary process, had the city pursued the allegations of misconduct against him.

Housing boss Lindile Petuna, who was also suspended in August on allegations of misconduct, resigned last week, just days into his disciplinary hearing.

This story appeared in Weekend Post on Saturday, 21 November, 2015 e-Edition

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