Suspended municipal manager Mr Sakkie Mutshinyali.
Date: 19 December 2016 By: Andries van Zyl
The municipal manager of the Makhado Municipality has been formally suspended, pending an investigation into alleged misconduct and mismanagement.
Makhado Mayor Shonisani Sinyosi confirmed Mutshinyali's suspension on Monday, stating that a council resolution to that effect was taken last Thursday. “His absence has no impact on the day-to-day running of the municipality. We have got directors and managers and they are doing their jobs even as if he was there. Nothing has changed,” Sinyosi said.
Mutshinyali was first placed on seven days’ special leave, following a closed special council meeting on 27 October. During this meeting, a report containing serious allegations of misconduct against Mutshinyali was tabled by Sinyosi. The allegations levied against Mutshinyali included illegally claiming and accepting payments for assistance in two relocations when he took up his position as municipal manager; illegally claiming for two cell phone lines; failing to implement financial delegations within the municipality; the irregular appointment of a contractor to install energy-saving infrastructure without following the correct procedures; taking leave from work without providing valid reasons; authorising a payment of more than R400 000 to a contractor without the council’s approval; the irregular appointment of various service providers; failing to disclose to council that he had been subpoenaed to provide documentation to the police’s special investigation unit in cases that include fraud and corruption; and paying R4.6 million to a legal firm without council’s approval.
During this time, Mutshinyali was given the opportunity to furnish council with reasons why he should not be suspended. On 8 November, the council reconvened but no decision was taken on whether or not to suspend Mutshinyali. Instead, the council merely extended his special leave for another 30 days. This happened after council had decided to provisionally withdraw the report regarding the consideration of the suspension of the municipal manager and the appointment of an investigator.
It would seem that since 8 November much has changed,with the council formally suspending Mutshinyali. “He is suspended for three months as per council resolution and he is not supposed to communicate with employees and service providers or clients on work-related matters without written permission of the mayor. He also has no access to the employer’s premises without written permission of the mayor. These are some of the conditions attached to his suspension. Meanwhile, an independent investigator will be appointed to investigate the alleged misconduct,” said municipal spokesperson Mr Louis Bobodi on Tuesday. According to available information provided to us, the investigation against Mutshinyali must be concluded within the next 30 days.
Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.