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READ LETTER: Bobani wants 'serious' allegations against Mettler tabled before Council

By Afikile Lugunya - Jun 4, 2018
READ LETTER: Bobani wants 'serious' allegations against Mettler tabled before Council

In an open letter to Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Speaker, Jonathan Lawack, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) said it wants serious allegations of misconduct against Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Municipal Manager, Johann Mettler, tabled before Council.

Mettler has held the position, which he was appointed to during the days of the African National Congress (ANC) administration. When the Democratic Alliance (DA) took over the Bay after the 2016 Local Government Elections, he remained in his position.

However, UDM Regional Chairperson, Mongameli Bobani, who previously held the position of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Deputy Executive Mayor, wants Council to debate the allegations of corruption against Mettler.

In the letter, Bobani said that he brought the "serious allegations of misconduct against the City Manager, Mr Johann Mettler to the attention of the Executive Mayor, Councillor Trollip on 22 May 2018". However, until now, no action has been taken on the matter.

Read the full letter below:

OPEN LETTER TO THE SPEAKER, LAWACK

 

04 June 2018

The Speaker of Council

NMBM

 

Attention: Councillor Lawack

RE - ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT AGAINST THE CITY MANAGER: MR JOHANN METTLER

This correspondence serves to inform you that the UDM has brought some serious allegations of misconduct against the City Manager, Mr Johann Mettler to the attention of the Executive Mayor, Councillor Trollip on 22 May 2018. A copy of such a letter was copied to you as a Speaker of council.

The UDM’s intention was for such allegations against the current City Manager to be tabled and considered by a municipal council as provided for in regulation 5 (1) of the Disciplinary Regulation for Senior Managers, 2010 promulgated in terms of the Municipal Systems Act, 2000.

The Executive Mayor is, in terms of regulation 5 (2) of the above-mentioned disciplinary procedure, legally obliged to table these serious allegations of misconduct against the City Manager in council within seven (7) days of receipt thereof. The Executive Mayor has unfortunately not yet directly responded to my correspondence as to the wayforward on these serious allegations against the City Manager other than conceding in the Herald dated 25 May 2018 to the fact that an act of misconduct has indeed been committed by the City Manager.

I am therefore addressing this correspondence directly to you based on the provisions of both the Disciplinary Regulations for Senior Managers, 2010 and the Municipal Regulations on Financial Misconduct Procedures and Criminal Proceedings, 2014. The above two (2) pieces of municipal regulations are extremely significant as they constitute a cornerstone for dealing with all forms of misconduct commited by municipal senior managers. Relevant sections of these regulations are outlined here below.

Disciplinary Regulations for Senior Managers, 2010

Regulation 5 (1) clearly stipulates that any allegation of misconduct against a senior manager must be brought to the attention of a municipal council.

Regulation 5 (2) stipulates that any allegation reffered to in sub-regulation (1) must be tabled by the mayor or municipal manager, as the case may be, before municipal council not later than seven (7) days after receipt thereof, failing which the mayor may request the speaker to convene a special council meeting within seven days to consider the said report.

Municipal Regulations on financial misconduct Procedures and Criminal Preceedings, 2014

Regulation 3 (1) states that any person must report an allegation of financial misconduct against the Accounting Officer; a senior manager or chief financial officer of the municipality to the municipal council, the Provincial Treasury and the National Treasury.

Regulation 3 (2) states that the mayor, the accounting officer or chairperson of the board of directors, as the case may be, must table an allegation referred to in sub-regulation (1) before the municipal council or board of directors in the case of a municipal entitiesb, not later than seven (7) days after receipt thereof or at the next sitting of the council or the board of directors.

Regulation 10 (2) states that if there is a likihood of further financial loss for a municipality or municipal entity as a result of a financial offence, the accounting officer, council, board of directors must report the matter without delay to the South African Police Services and not wait the completion of any investigation referred to in refulation 5 and 6 related to the financial offence.

The above regulations are in line with section 173 (1) of the Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 which clearly stipulates that the Accounting Officer of a municipality is guilty of an offence if that Accounting Officer fails to take all reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

In view of the above, the UDM unequivocaly re-iterates it's demand of tabling and considerations by council of all the following allegations of serious misconduct against the City Manager, Mr Mettler:

(a) Unlawful extension of scope of work of Mohlaleng Media

(b) Irregualr appointment of the former Acting Executive Director: Corporate Services through her company - Logodisa

(c) irregular termination of employment contracts of senior managers

(d) Irregular appointment of Senior Managers (section 56 managers)

(e) Misappropriation of municipal funds for the implementation of M-SCOA

(f) Irregular appointment of Sebata Municipal Solutions

(g) Irregular appointment and improper conduct of Gray Moodliar Attorney’s

(h) Political Interference in municipal administration particularly on forensic

   investigations and human resources management matters

(h) Irregular purchasing of Murray and Roberts building by a municipality

(i) Misappropriation of funds on N.U 29 Housing demolition Project

(j) Irregular commissioning of Wi-Fi Project through High Mast Light

All the above allegations of serious misconduct against the City Manager, Mr Mettler have been elaborated upon in my letter dated 22 May 2018 adressed to the Executive Mayor and copied to you. Your attention is specifically drawn to the fact that the Executive Mayor has already conceded in public that the act of irregualr conduct by both the City Manager and Ms [Vuyo] Zitumane has been committed.

It is with this in mind that the UDM directs this correspondence to you as the Speaker of council so as to ensure that a report containing all the allegations of serious misconduct against the City Manager, Mr Mettler are tabled in council for its consideration as provided for in both the Disciplinary Regulations for Senior Managers, 2010 and the Municipal Regulations on Financial Misconduct Procedures and Criminal Proceedings, 2014.

I also wish to remind you that the continuation of the alleged irregular expenditure as highlighted above in respect of all the allegations against the City Manager is costing this municipality ernomous amounts of money and the sooner these allegations are tabled in council, the better. I must not hesitate to mention that this is a legal requirement which must be adhered to by everyone and not an individual opinion seeking exercise.

Your response is awaited in this regard

Yours Sincerely

Councillor M. Bobani

Copy: Head of Special Investigation Unit: Adv L. Mothibi

       MEC: Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs : MEC Xhasa

       Auditor-General of South Africa: Mr Makwethu

       Director-General: National Treasury - Mr Dondo

       NMBM Executive Mayor: Councillor Athol Trollip

       EFF: Councillor Vena

       AIC: Councillor Buyeye

       COPE: Councillor Sijadu

       ANC: Councillor Suka

       PA: Councillor Daniels

       United Front: Councillor Mtsila

       ACDP: Councillor Grootboom

       SAMWU: Mr Nodongwe