Bungling by metro costs both a great administrator and city coffers

By Cllr Dean Biddulph, DA Metro Caucus Spokesperson – Nelson Mandela Bay:

The news that Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has been ordered to pay former city manager Dr Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela a substantial court settlement, completely vindicates both the former City Manager and also the DA’s position throughout this unfortunate scandalous affair.

The metro has once again shot itself in the foot by choosing to defend yet another weak legal case which had very little prospect of success. The fact that the city did not call a single witness in defense of their court action is noteworthy in itself.

The consequent award of a R3.1-million settlement plus interest for damages, along with a further instruction that the city pay all of Msengana-Ndlela’s costs, is indicative of the shambolic state of our metro. Sadly the cost for this spectacular lapse will once again be borne by the rate paying public.

Dr Msengana-Ndlela arrived at City Hall with an impeccable reputation.  She arrived with a spring in her step and a steadfast commitment to establishing a clean and transparent administration. No sooner had she settled in when it became immediately apparent that there were those equally committed to seeing her fail and who would stop at nothing, even to the point of making not too unsubtle threats against her and her personal safety.

Sadly, not even the MEC at the time made any meaningful effort to assist her in what was always likely to be an impossible task.

Even those who supported her, like myself, with the launch of the Save Our Metro campaign, were not immune to the nefarious tactics of the nameless, faceless bullies who bear only their own personal self interest at heart.

No sooner had public support begun to reach critical mass when I too found myself the victim of anonymous threats with the arrival of a threatening stranger at my home telling me to drop the petition.

Let this chain of events sound a warning to our new mayor that he is going to need a strong stomach along with an equally strong character to be able to clean up this administration and rid it of the systemic corruption, graft and greed that has consumed the institution for far too long.

To Dr Msengana-Ndlela we say sorry for what was done to you and wish you well in your new position.  Your skills will be sorely missed.