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Heads roll over R3m Makana payout

21 January 2014
Adrienne Carlisle

THE Makana Municipality has suspended some of its top brass, including municipal manager Pravine Naidoo and strategic municipal manager Mncedisi Boma, over a proposed R3-million payout to Naidoo

Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane has slammed the purported damages settlement.

While the municipality did not respond to questions yesterday, DA councillor Les Reynolds confirmed that Boma and Naidoo had been suspended.

The municipality has already paid Naidoo some R108000 for his legal costs in contradiction of the court's ruling that Naidoo should pay the costs of the failed application.

The matter dates back to 2007 when the Makana Municipality decided not to renew Naidoo's contract. He then sued for R5-million in damages for future loss of earnings. The Grahamstown High Court dismissed the application with costs.

Naidoo appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal and lost again with costs. He instituted an almost identical action in the Port Elizabeth Labour Court. It was postponed in 2010.

Last year when Naidoo was offered a fresh contract as municipal manager, his lawyers asked the municipality to settle the outstanding matter.

Qoboshiyane said that, without any council mandate, certain unnamed parties agreed to settle with Naidoo for R3-million and pay all his legal costs.

DA MP Kevin Mileham said steps had not yet been taken against other parties involved in the scandal.

Mileham, meanwhile, welcomed Qoboshiyane's assurance that his office would investigate the recent water outages, non-payment of salaries and general management of the municipality.

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