Corruption-accused eThekwini boss given a week to say why he should keep his job

13 March 2020 - 20:32 By Zimasa Matiwane
eThekwini city manager Sipho Nzuza.
eThekwini city manager Sipho Nzuza.

Corruption-accused eThekwini city manager Sipho Nzuza has gone on two weeks' leave - but will be asked why he should not be suspended, according to insiders.

This follows a closed special council sitting on Friday where Nzuza's future at eThekwini was discussed. And this after the city manager appeared in the Durban commercial crimes court on Tuesday.

He faces corruption charges linked to alleged collusion between senior eThekwini officials and service providers in a controversial Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender debacle worth R430m.

Nzuza, who handed himself in on Tuesday morning, is the 17th accused in the ongoing corruption case related to the awarding of work to contractors for a 2016 DSW tender. Among his co-accused is former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.

Nzuza was granted bail of R50,000.

A councillor who attended Friday's council meeting said Nzuza's leave was scheduled. But it was decided that action needed to proceed despite this.

"The mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, will write to Nzuza to ask him to give reasons why he should not be suspended. The city manager will have to respond to the letter within seven days. Someone will be acting [as city manager] while he is on leave," the councillor said.

The meeting was held in-committee, meaning what occurred inside can not be discussed. But TimesLIVE contacted four other councillors, who confirmed the details of the meeting.

eThekwini spokesman Msawakhe Mayisela said an official statement would be released on Saturday.

Before the meeting, ANC branches aligned to Gumede released a statement saying they wanted to ask the council speaker to suspend Nzuza.

Nzuza, who assumed the top job in 2017, turned state witness in the corruption case against Gumede and her co-accused last year. However he was arrested this week by the Hawks on charges including fraud, corruption and maladministration.