Acting city manager appointed while corruption-accused eThekwini boss on special leave

14 March 2020 - 12:17 By Zimasa Matiwane
eThekwini city manager Sipho Nzuza.
eThekwini city manager Sipho Nzuza.

eThekwini municipality has appointed deputy city manager for governance and International relations Sipho Cele as interim city manager.

This comes after corruption-accused city manager Sipho Nzuza was granted two weeks' special leave after his appearance at the Durban commercial crimes court on Tuesday on fraud, corruption and maladministration charges.

“Following the appearance of the city manager at the commercial crimes court in Durban this week, eThekwini Municipality convened a special council meeting to deliberate on the court case.

“The council also discussed his request for the two weeks' special leave to which it acceded,” city spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said.

Mayisela reassured residents of eThekwini that service delivery will not be adversely affected.   

“During the course of the special leave, the council is requesting to be given space while internal legal processes are unfolding,” he said.

On Friday, TimesLIVE reported that Nzuza will be asked to state reasons why he should not be suspended.

A councillor who attended Friday's special council meeting told TimesLIVE that, “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.”

Nzuza 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.

He handed himself over on Tuesday morning and 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.