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Second suspension of NMB Communications boss was long overdue: DA

Sep 8, 2015
Second suspension of NMB Communications boss was long overdue: DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Nelson Mandela Bay on Tuesday welcomed the suspension of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Director of Communications, Roland Williams, and other senior officials, saying it was a "long overdue decision".

"The DA has been consistent in pushing NMB Municipality to deal decisively with Williams.

"Williams has been dogged by controversy over the years, but has been protected by the ANC throughout, and is clearly not a fit and proper person to represent our Municipality," said DA Nelson Mandela Bay Caucus leader, Cllr Retief Odendaal in a statement.

"Williams oversaw the irregular and illegal awarding of a 2010 World Cup gantries tender, is alleged to have taken an all-expenses paid trip to Paarl, funded entirely by a service provider who now has contracts with NMB and is most recently wrapped up in a dubious telecommunications contract awarded to NMB last year."

According to Cllr Odendaal, this is not the first time Williams has been suspended – he spent a year on suspension in 2012/13, and was paid in full while not doing a stitch of work.

"Williams has shown time and time again that he only wishes to serve himself and his cronies, defends the indefensible and uses Municipal communication to achieve ANC ends. The culture of cronyism is the ultimate gate keeper of opportunity and real freedom in Nelson Mandela Bay and Williams epitomises this.

"It is outrageous that Williams has been allowed to act with impunity for so long and it is high time that the Council bring him to book. In a fair society, everyone should be equal before the law."

Williams was suspended together with S. Nkanjeni from the municipality's Supply Chain department and C. Ritter-Erasmus, also from Communications. While other officials have recieved notices of the intention to suspend them.

Other officials suspended between June and July 2015 are:

  • L. Blignaut: Building Inspector, Human Settlements 
  • N. Gerwel: Deputy Director, Capital, Budget and Treasury 
  • R. Jassen: Cashier, Economic Development 
  • N.N. Cakwebe: Cashier, Economic Development 
  • N.P. Jesile: Cashier, Economic Development 
  • T.M. Ngcanga: Cashier/Clerk, Economic Development 
  • T.G. Nonziyana: Cashier, Economic Development 
  • C. Els: Cashier, Economic Development 
  • S.A. Cornellissen: Cashier, Economic Development
  • D.I. Nokele: Director, Fresh Produce Market, Economic Development
  • M.M. Ndoyana: Executive Director, Corporate Services 
  • L. Petuna: Executive Director, Human Settlements

 Williams and the other officials are expected to appear in disciplinary hearings soon.

Acting City Manager, Mzwake Clay appealed to other municipal officials and members of the public, who may have information useful to investigators, to please share that info with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's Internal Audit Office.