Metro to be Summoned to Explain Richard’s Golden Handshake

www.MyPE.co.za: The Nelson Mandela
Bay Municipality is expected to explain its decision to give former
municipal manager, Graham Richards, a golden handshake to Minister of
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Sicelo Shiceka.

The municipality reached a deal with Richards following a protracted
dispute with them that had cost them millions of rands. Richards was
put on special leave in August last year following allegations of
mismanagement.

This is the second golden handshake for Richards from the municipality
in less than 10 years. The municipality will not confirm the exact
amount of the payout but it’s alleged to be in the region of R2 million.

As a result, Richards has agreed to call off his High Court bid
involving forensic reports into service delivery under his tenure.

Briefing reporters after his meeting with his provincial MECs on
Tuesday, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister,
Sicelo Shiceka, said he was going to summon the municipality to explain
its actions.

“The golden handshake money must be used for service delivery and we
want to urge our municipalities that if you have a strong case against
an official, don’t act before you gather all the concrete evidence. We
can’t afford this situation anymore in South Africa,” he said.

Shiceka said he was also in the process of setting up a meeting with
the City of Tshwane to get a clear understanding of how they gave
suspended manager Kiba Kekana a R2.3 million golden handshake.

Regarding the issue of reducing the current nine provinces which was
discussed during the African National Congress’ (ANC) recent National
General Council (NGC) meeting, the minister said they had resolved to
set up a Presidential or Ministerial commission to drive the process
through widespread consultation.

“The NGC also resolved that there should be single elections in the
country, but all these issues are still going to be discussed at the
majority party policy conference in June 2012 and in December 2012,” he
said.

The minister said it was important to look at the amalgamation or even
doing away with weak municipalities after the upcoming local government
elections.

Provincial MECs will be making a presentation to him in January next
year about weak municipalities in their respective provinces that need
to be reviewed. – Nthambeleni Gabara, BuaNews

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