The Democratic Alliance in Nelson Mandela Bay laid criminal charges against the Executive Mayor, Cllr Benson Fihla, and his Deputy, Cllr Chippa Ngcolomba on Thursday morning, for political interference in the administration of the municipality. The unstable state of the Metro is highlighted by the fact that we have had six municipal managers and acting municipal mangers over the past four years.
Barely two months into the job, the resignation last Wednesday of City Manager, Dr Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela, is a direct result of political interference and this is referenced in a letter she has written to Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane and in the MEC’s public response. The MEC was quoted in The Herald of 1 August that “…she has demonstrated that it was because of undue pressures and inappropriate interference in the administration”.
The DA afforded the MEC the opportunity to exercise his legislated responsibility and right to take decisive action by laying criminal charges against the Mayor and his Deputy for their actions in accordance of Section 173 of the Municipal Finance Management Act.
Section 173 of the Municipal Finance Management Act clearly states that a councillor is guilty of an offence if a councillor “deliberately influences or attempts to influence the accounting officer, the chief financial officer, a senior manager or any other official of the municipality to contravene a provision of this Act”. Section 174 further provides for penalties including imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or an appropriate fine determined