Mixed signals over Nelson Mandela Bay acting manager Peter Neilson
Peter Neilson will remain Nelson Mandela Bay’s acting municipal manager until the next council meeting.
This is according to Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani, despite co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Fikile Xasa declaring Neilson’s continued tenure as illegal.
In a letter seen by Weekend Post, Xasa approved Neilson’s appointment for the period between December 4 2018 to March 3 2019.
“I do approve the appointment of Mr PJ Neilson as city manager for a period not exceeding three months, with effect from 4th December 2018 up to 3rd March 2019.”
When asked about Neilson continuing as the Bay’s municipal manager, Xasa said his words were clear in the letter.
“A person can’t act beyond six months. The first three months was the municipality’s, the second was Cogta’s and beyond what we’ve approved is illegal now.
“They have many options and can even appoint another acting municipal manager,” Xasa said.Neilson, who is director for electricity and energy, was the third person appointed to the job after city boss Johann Mettler was suspended.Mettler was suspended by the council for alleged misconduct related to unlawfully extending the contract of communications firm Mohlaleng Media and irregularly hiring and suspending municipal staff.Bobani said Xasa should not respond to a letter he had written to the MEC via the media but use the channels for intergovernmental relations.Bobani said Neilson’s appointment was legal.“Neilson was legally appointed by council and if the MEC has anything to say to this, he must write to my office.“He must not talk to the media about something I’ve written to him about nor will I respond via the media.”