SASOLBURG. – It’s official. Metsimaholo Mayor Councillor Brutus Mahlaku has announced the resignation of Municipal Manager Xolela Msweli.
His resignation came when everyone was expecting him to return from a two-month special leave. Councillor Mahlaku did not want to engage on speculation of corruption and fraud against the municipal manager.
“Well, as far as I know, he was not being investigated for any corruption or fraud. I granted him special leave in December last year,” he says.
While everyone was awaiting his return, the former municipal manager slapped the mayor with a resignation letter on March 5. The mayor says he is not surprised by the resignation. “I can say in good faith that I anticipated his move,” he says.
Msweli was given special leave so that the municipality could figure out why his performance had deteriorated of late. “We thought something was hindering his work,” says the mayor. “It is the duty of the municipality to make sure that, before thinking of firing a person, we have to give him the benefit of the doubt,” says Mahlaku.
Mahlaku says people should understand that Msweli was on special leave. Bassie Motlou was suspended after his fraud case. This was heard at the Magistrates Court. I wish Msweli the best of luck for his future career.
Insiders allege that while Msweli was on leave, he applied for another job in the same province. Councillor Mahlaku says they need to redeem the municipality to show that they are capable of serving the communities.
Speaking to Vaalweekblad on March 12, Msweli confirmed that he has resigned but not, he said, out of any bad blood.
“The political environment was not appropriate and conducive for me. I feel that I need to spread my wings to venture into other jobs since serving Metsimaholo as director of LED in 2009 and as MM for two years. Msweli started a new job at the executive local economic development at Matshabeng local municipality from March 5.