Note to Editors: Please find the attached soundbite of Cllr. Nicole Graham following todays court appearance of eThekwini City Manager, Sipho Nzuza
The DA in eThekwini notes today’s court appearance by eThekwini City Manager, Sipho Nzuza. Nzuza is out on bail with several others including former Mayor Zandile Gumede.
The judge has confirmed what the DA has repeatedly warned- that Nzuza was involving himself in matters that relate to supply chain processes and tenders despite his strict bail conditions.
Nzuza was suspended by the eThekwini Council for three months earlier this year. After his suspension had lapsed, he agreed to take three months’ leave. In September he returned to City Hall.
His return was nothing less than a complete bungle by the ANC. The report into his conduct was not completed in time, the law was flouted and the ‘negotiations’ headed by Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda clearly failed.
The ANC also rejected the DA’s proposal for Council to ensure that Nzuza’s accounting and SCM functions were delegated to the Chief Financial Officer.
The ANC simply refused to listen and the result was an absolute mess, with Nzuza effectively deciding what he delegated and to whom.
Documents leaked to the DA earlier this month showed that Nzuza was signing off tenders and that various procurement reports were addressed to and presented by him.
The DA believed that these were a clear violation of the City Manager’s bail condition and made them public.
When we intended to hand these to the Hawks and the NPA, we were informed that they already had them.
Whilst Nzuza has escaped custody after today’s Court appearance, he has received a stern warning from the judge.
It has been the DA who pushed for action against Nzuza and who tried to cushion the municipality from the potential impact of his return.
It was the DA who made reasonable proposals as to how the matter could be responsibly handled, but the ANC ignored them.
The ANC leadership in eThekwini, brought in to ‘save the city’ with their supposed vast experience, have proven themselves hapless in a crisis.
The DA will write urgently to the Speaker, Cllr Weziwe Thusi, and ask her to convene an urgent meeting of Council. This meeting must- as the DA originally proposed- formally remove any supply chain or accounting functions from Nzuza.
The DA will continue to fight for justice and change in eThekwini. History is slowly starting to prove us right.