According to reports, Msukaligwa Municipality’s acting municipal manager, Mr Daniel Maluleke, has been put on special leave.
The director of Technical Services, Mr S.R. Magudulela, was tasked with steering the municipality in his absence as acting municipal manager.
The Highvelder enquired at the municipal office as to why Mr Maluleke was put on special leave.
Msukaligwa’s spokesman, Mr Mandla Zwane, confirmed that Mr Maluleke is on special leave, however, he declined to state reasons as to why, saying the matter at this stage is between Mr Maluleke and his employer.
Reports indicated that Mr Maluleke left the helm on 3 July and will be off for 30 working days, meaning he could be back in office on 3 August.
“The employer may grant the employee special leave with or without pay for a reasonable number of days with approval in terms of the relevant special leave policy of the municipality,” Mr Zwane said.
Processes began to fill the position of municipal manager in June, with the vacant position being advertised in national print media on 3 June and the closing date of the intake of applications on 22 June, a move opposition parties welcomed as the previous “official” municipal manager, Mr Z.T. Shongwe’s, contract ended at the end of August last year.
At this stage, Mr Zwane confirmed that council has appointed a five-member selection panel, however the newspaper cannot confirm if any people have been short listed for the position.
Contrary to reports circulating in the media, Mr Zwane confirmed that Mr Maluleke has not been short listed to fill the position.
The panel must choose short-listed candidates within 30 days from the closing date of applications.
Screening must take place within 21 days from the finalisation of the short list and interviews must be done withing 21 days from the date of screening.
The recommended candidates will undergo a competency assessment and the panel will submit a report and a recommendation to the council.
The council will eventually make the final decision on the appointment and report it to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
This means the municipality should have an officially contracted municipal manager before the end of this year.
When the newspaper requested an interview with Mr Maluleke, he declined and said he would not comment.
The Highvelder will be following the story closely as council is set to appoint a person to lead Msukaligwa Municipality in the upcoming months.