BARELY five months into his new job, Nelson Mandela Bay’s new head of trade and investment Lutho Nduvane is facing possible disciplinary action for allegedly swearing at his boss, Anele Qaba.
Nduvane, who is on leave, was served with a letter of intention to suspend him this week for alleged gross insubordination and verbal abuse.
He has to give reasons to city manager Mpilo Mbambisa why he should not be suspended as the alleged incident had led to a broken relationship between him and his employer.
The move comes after he allegedly said “f**k you small boy” to Qaba when Qaba recused Nduvane and another colleague from a meeting with Mbambisa on Friday.
The meeting was to discuss a trip to China which officials were supposed to embark on this week. The trip has since been cancelled.
It is unclear what led to the confrontation between Qaba and Nduvane, but insiders allege that Nduvane repeatedly swore at Qaba and said “what are you going to do about it?”
Qaba declined to comment yesterday, but confirmed that Nduvane was employed by the municipality five months ago.
Nduvane, who also said he did not want to comment on the matter, added: “It’s unfortunate that people would stoop so low and deal with me through the media.”
He said he had been on sick leave since Monday.
“It’s hurtful if a tiff with a supervisor, which happens all the time in the workplace, is put in the media.
“If there is conflict between myself and Mr Qaba, it doesn’t mean we cannot sit down and discuss it.
“By commenting, I would be taking an internal municipal process and talking about it in the media,” Nduvane said.
Although an official confirmed that Nduvane had been served with Mbambisa’s letter at his house on Tuesday, Nduvane denied it, insisting he was on sick leave.
It is understood he will have to explain his actions when he returns to work.
Nduvane is still on probation and his job will have to be approved by Qaba before he can be hired permanently.
He was previously a manager at the Eastern Cape department of economic development, environmental affairs and tourism.
He has a strong political background and was a leading activist in student politics.
He was also in the leadership ranks of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union in the mid-2000s.