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DA lays criminal charges against Nelson Mandela Bay Acting City managers

Dec 4, 2019
DA lays criminal charges against Nelson Mandela Bay Acting City managers

Port Elizabeth - On Wednesday, former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, laid criminal charges against the Acting City Manager, Nobuntu Mpongwana, as well as former Acting City Manager, Mvuleni Mapu, under the Municipal Systems Act.

"The charges stem from the actions taken by both Mpongwana and Mapu, in relation to the reappointment of Gray Moodliar Inc. and the subsequent postponement of all cases that they were busy investigating," said Trollip.

"While Mpongwana did reinstate Gray Moodliar in terms of the court order on 8 October 2019, Mapu who was appointed acting MM for all of two days, gave the attorneys notice on the 9th of October that they were to postpone all matters that had a court date or a hearing date. This included six matters under investigation relating to the Integrated Public Transport System."

He alleged that Mapu’s instruction, "which Mpongwana has confirmed" as the municipality’s position, has, and continues to result in the municipality incurring fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and is a criminal offence in terms of the Municipal Systems Act.

"Further, Mpongwana deliberately misled National Treasury in her report at the end of October, that she would investigate fruitless and wasteful expenditure, when she was fully aware that  she and Mapu had given instruction to postpone all IPTS matters," Trollip said.

"It should also be noted that, in one of the cases that has been postponed, relating to the High Court matter of NMBM vs Afrisec Strategic Solutions and seven others (Case no. 3712/16), Mpongwana is one of the respondents.

"She has a summons against her for the sum of R34 665 670.62, for breaching her fiduciary duty to the municipality, breaching her duty of care, diligence and good faith and her duty to act in the best interest of the municipality.

"This is the same matter wherein former city manager, Johann Mettler laid criminal charges against current executive mayor, Mongameli Bobani, for his alleged interference in Mpongwana’s Labour Court review."

Trollip alleged that on or about 2 November 2016, councillor Bobani instructed the then acting Chief Operating Officer, Solomzi Ndabeni, to call a meeting with the Municipality’s Labour Relations Directorate, with the objective of stopping the municipality from issuing summons against Mpongwana in the Afrisec proceedings.

"Mpongwana’s support of the instruction in her capacity as Acting City Manager, that the Afrisec matter must be postponed, is essentially postponing proceedings against herself, and is unlawful.

"The appointment by Mpongwana of a second firm of attorneys, Kuban Chetty Attorneys, to review all cases which by virtue of the court order were reinstated, is unnecessary, unjustifiable and constitutes a duplication of legal costs, which is deliberate or grossly negligent," he added.

"Even more concerning is that Mpongwana has instructed these attorneys to review the Afrisec matter, in which she is a defendant. It should be noted that in two of the matters that Kuban Chetty Attorneys have been instructed to review, namely the Afrisec and Erastyle matters, they in fact acted on behalf of a defendant against the municipality."

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