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Polokwane Municipal Manager on precautionary suspension

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BARRY VILJOEN
>>barryv.observer@gmail.com

Polokwane Municipal Manager Connie Mametja was placed under precautionary suspension for a period of 90 days following a closed meeting of the council last Friday.
Mametja was served with a letter informing her of the council’s intention to suspend her just more than a week ago and had the opportunity to advance reasons why the suspension should not be effected.
According to a source, the required response was received and the council subsequently resolved to place the Municipal Manager under precautionary suspension.
According to Tidimalo Chuene, Communications and Marketing Manager of the municipality, an independent investigator will be appointed to investigate allegations against Mametja within a determined period.
“A special meeting of council will be convened afterwards to consider and make a pronouncement on the investigator’s report. The allegations against the Municipal Manager can not be divulged at the moment as this might jeopardise some aspects of the investigation,” Chuene said. Ndavhe Ramakuela, the current Director of Community Development was appointed as acting Municipal Manager.
In accordance with the Local Government: Disciplinary Regulations for Senior Managers published under Government Notice no GG34213 of 21 April 2011, a municipal council may suspend a senior manager on full pay if it is alleged that the senior manager has committed an act of misconduct and where the council has reason to believe that the senior manager at the workplace may jeopardise any investigation into the alleged misconduct, endanger the well-being or safety of any person or municipal property, or be detrimental to stability in the municipality or may interfere with potential witnesses or commit further acts of misconduct.
The regulations also stipulate that the municipality must commence with a disciplinary hearing within three months after the date of suspension, failing which the suspension will automatically lapse.
Staff members were also called for a meeting with management on Tuesday at 15:00 and offices were closed for the public to allow all to attend. According to a source, staff were informed that Municipal Manager Connie Mametja was suspended for 90 days and that an investigation into alleged misconduct will start in due course. Staff members were assured that there are no pending intentions to suspend any other officials and that they were requested to give their full cooperation to the investigating team. No details of the alleged misconduct were given.