Suspended Nelson Mandela Bay housing director back at work
After being on suspension for more than three years, Nelson Mandela Bay housing delivery director Mvuleni Mapu has returned to work.
He joins nine other officials who have returned to work since a February 4 council meeting resolved to bring back suspended officials whose disciplinary cases had been dragging on for longer than three months.
Corporate services and human resources political head Makhi Feni said 10 of the suspended officials had returned to work, along with 28 truck drivers.
“The only ones not at work [are] those [whose case files] we did not receive from Gray Moodliar Incorporated,” he said.
“Our intention is clear though, that those still facing disciplinary hearings must continue with them.
“Some of these cases are already proceeding.”
Feni said the decision to bring back the suspended officials was to curb fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
“People have been acting in their positions,” he said.
Wayne Gray, of Gray Moodliar, declined to comment, saying the matter was sub judice.
Mapu, who was suspended in September 2015 for allegedly authorising the construction of houses at Rosedale and Wells Estate prior to a funding agreement in place with the Eastern Cape department of human settlements, said he was thrilled to return to work.
“Definitely glad to be back. I can’t remember when I started again but it was months ago,” he said.
“I am doing my work. Officials were very happy to see me back. Everyone was very excited.”
Mapu said he had been on suspension for about 3½ years.
On what he had spent his time doing, he said: “I just sat there and observed.
“I was not frustrated as they had no case anyway.
“I was suspended politically and it had nothing to do with my work.”
Mapu said he had jumped straight back into his work, including going through thousands of e-mails.
“I am surviving. I am doing my best. I just want to carry on with my work.
“The community is also happy to see me back.
“There will be movement now on housing. Things will change quickly,” he said.
The cases of the 14 officials – including Mapu – were first reviewed by Port Elizabeth attorney Kuban Chetty and then by a municipal internal review committee.
In some cases, the review team differed with Chetty, who stated in a February 27 2019 report that at least four of the officials should remain suspended, pending their hearings.
These include environmental services director Joram Mkosana, project manager Thabo Williams, former executive director Andile Tolom and former acting waste management director Nkosinathi Dolo.
They were all implicated in the Milongani Eco-Consulting draft forensic report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which details allegations of tender rigging, fraud and collusion by officials in the municipality’s public health department.
These four officials have since returned to work.Also back at work is Sox Nkanjeni, a former contracts controller in the supply chain management department, who was fired for allegedly sending confidential information about a tender to his personal e-mail address, which was then forwarded to a third party.He was also accused of using his position for personal gain in that he lived in a Bluewater Bay house rented by a person whose company was on the municipal service provider database.Nkanjeni’s dismissal was overturned by the bargaining council.Those not yet back at work include internal audit director Bonnie Chan, chief forensic auditor Werner Wiehart, and former corporate services boss Mod Ndoyana.Ndoyana was fired on a host of charges, including alleged irregularities, dishonesty and misleading the council.He eventually referred his case to the Labour Court, citing unfair dismissal.