Mayor defends ‘suspending’ a senior official via WhatsApp

MSUNDUZI mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla

MSUNDUZI mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla

Published May 8, 2024


The Msunduzi Municipality mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla has defended the decision to notify the suspended municipal manager Lulamile Mapholoba via WhatsApp, that he had been suspended.

He sent the city manager the letter of suspension via WhatsApp.

Briefing the media on Wednesday, Thebolla said there are many ways to communicate and all of them are legal.

But Mapholoba had felt differently, speaking to The Mercury recently, he revealed that he was sent a suspension letter via WhatsApp, arguing that is not one of the legal ways to communicate serious information concerning a senior official.

But Thebolla said there was nothing wrong with sending the suspension letter via this form of communication.

“After the council meeting on May 2 (which suspended the city manager) was done and the (suspension letter) was done, I first shared that letter with the municipal manager via WhatsApp and then shared the letter with his lawyers.

“There are many ways to communicate and all of them are legal,” Thebolla said.

Thebolla warned the municipal manager not to show up for work on Wednesday adding that the manager remains suspended and setting his foot in the municipal building would be illegal. “As for people showing up in places where they are not wanted, that is something else.”

The city manager and the City are embroiled in an increasingly bitter legal dispute. The City has suspended him, accusing of serious wrongdoing.

But the city manager has defended himself saying his suspension is politically motivated. He said he was suspended after the mayor and the ANC officials in the Moses Mabhida region complained that his actions were undermining the ruling party.

Mapholoba said he was accused of this after insisting on disciplining staff members in the City that had been implicated in acts of wrongdoing.

The Mercury