IFP accused of pressuring KZN municipality to appoint Princess Buthelezi's partner

28 December 2017 - 13:03 By Bongani Mthethwa
IFP's Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
IFP's Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

The IFP has been accused of “putting pressure on” a KwaZulu-Natal municipal manager to appoint the partner of party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s daughter.

Nigerian Holstein Ewaen Edayi‚ who is in a relationship with Princess Sibuyiselwe Angela Buthelezi‚ was on December 1 appointed the deputy director of legal strategy‚ monitoring and evaluation at the IFP-controlled Zululand District Municipality.

The job comes with a R790 653 salary package‚ medical aid‚ various subsidies and home and car allowances.

A formal complaint has been lodged against Edayi’s appointment by one of the losing candidates.

Edayi was previously employed by the Ulundi municipality‚ where Princess Sibuyiselwe‚ 48‚ worked as municipal manager before she was medically boarded after undergoing spinal surgery. The couple live together in Durban.

Two sources with knowledge of the selection process told the Sunday Times that Zululand municipal manager Sipho Nkosi was put under pressure to hire Edayi.

“There was indeed pressure to appoint him so that he can support the princess who is no longer working after she was medically boarded after undergoing a spine surgery‚” said one source.

Another source said the fact that Edayi was a Buthelezi family member added to the pressure.

He added that Nkosi is an NFP-appointment official and the IFP‚ which has a majority in the council‚ could easily remove him. “He [Nkosi] was afraid to appoint a successful candidate and not the Nigerian because he himself is treading carefully as there are attempts to remove him. So he had to appoint [Edayi]‚ who has become part of Buthelezi’s family‚” the source said.

In an unrelated matter‚ Nkosi has been served with a suspension notice by newly-appointed mayor Thulasizwe Buthelezi over the R56-million owed by the municipality to the Water and Sanitation Department.

Nkosi has denied allegations that he was forced to the appoint Edayi.

But the Sunday Times has established that a formal complaint has been lodged against Edayi’s appointment by one of the losing candidates‚ Hopewell Themba Mbatha‚ a Johannesburg-based advocate.

In the letter‚ leaked to the Sunday Times this week‚ Mbatha claims he was more qualified for the position than any other candidate. He also claims that because he was vetted‚ it created an assumption that the job was his.

“I feel I am deliberately prejudiced for reasons I do not know. I reserve my rights to consult my lawyers to challenge the process of the interview and the appointment thereof‚” he said in the letter.

Mbatha has demanded to see the qualifications of all the candidates‚ including Edayi’s‚ and also wants the municipality to prove that Edayi – who he does not mention by name in the letter – met all the requirements for the job.

“I am an equal citizen of this country. I deserve justice‚” he said.

Nkosi said the municipality followed the vetting process through a private company‚ which included verifying Edayi’s permanent residence status. He added that Edayi has a BCom law degree from Unisa and was qualified for the job.

“The results have been given to the candidates. Three were interviewed and the preferred candidate has been appointed. I have not been pressured by anyone‚” he said.

The DA has formally questioned whether proper processes were followed in a number of recent employments‚ including Edayi’s.

DA councillor S’bu Nkosi said he was aware that Edayi was close to Buthelezi‚ but was not aware of allegations that this had anything to do with his appointment.

“We have written questions to the municipal manager‚ not only about him [Edayi]‚ but to find out whether proper procedures are followed when new people are employed because we see a lot of new faces in the municipality‚” he said.

Attempts to get comment from the IFP and Edayi were unsuccessful.