THE ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay has instructed mayor Zanoxolo Wayile to push for the metro’s head of health, Dr Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni, to be appointed as the city’s acting municipal manager.
Chabula-Nxiweni also has the support of opposition parties, who yesterday said she had the experience required for the job.
The Herald understands that on Tuesday, a day before acting municipal manager Themba Hani’s contract expired, Wayile and chief whip Feziwe Sibeko were called to the ANC regional headquarters and told to recommend to council that Chabula-Nxiweni be appointed as interim manager.
ANC regional secretary Zandisile Qupe yesterday confirmed that a meeting with the mayor took place on Tuesday but denied that Chabula-Nxiweni was ever mentioned.
"That’s news to me. We had a meeting with them but it had nothing to do with any office in the municipality, or any name. It was a follow- up to the regional executive committee retreat we had at the weekend where we discussed the state of governance in the metro,” Qupe said.
However four senior ANC leaders in the region, including two councillors, said the regional leaders pushed for Chabula-Nxiweni.
An ANC councillor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Wayile and Sibeko were summoned to Florence Matomela House on Tuesday and were told to recommend Chabula-Nxiweni to take over from Hani.
Another ANC councillor said Wayile did not respond to the instruction during the meeting except to say he had heard the directive.
"I don’t think they will hire her, they do not like her much. She is a strong cadre and she listens to the ANC and they do not like that,” the councillor said.
Hani has been acting for nine months and by law his contract cannot be extended. However, the municipality said earlier this week Hani would continue in the post until a decision on his replacement was made at the next council meeting.
Wayile’s spokesman, Luncedo Njezula, yesterday neither confirmed nor denied that the mayor held a meeting with the ANC leadership on Tuesday.
He said: "It is not permissible by law to punt names for an acting municipal manager post. The matter of who will take up the post must be decided by council.”
Chabula-Nxiweni said yesterday she had not been approached for the job. "It has never come to my ears; nobody has said anything to me.”
When asked if she would accept the position if it was offered, she refused to comment.
The opposition parties expressed support for Chabula-Nxiweni.
UDM councillor Mongameli Bobani said: "She has been working for the metro for more than five years and the changes she has brought to her department are commendable. She goes out of her way to be there for the community.”
DA councillor Leon de Villiers said his party would support Chabula- Nxiweni for the post because she was "a means to an end”.
"Mr Hani must go. He hasn’t taken this municipality forward in the time he has been here.”
COPE councillor Mzwandile Hote said the party would "campaign strongly for her”, despite her defecting from COPE to rejoin the ANC.