DA, EFF join the fray after eviction of Emfuleni finance boss

The dramatic scenes that unfolded when Emfuleni municipality’s chief financial officer was frog-marched from his office by heavily armed guards have angered the DA and EFF.

Sunday World reported at the weekend how Andile Dyakala, the municipality’s finance boss, was thrown out of council offices in Vanderbijlpark.

Dyakala was evicted from his office on the instruction of municipal manager April Ntuli after he had returned to work after his suspension was lifted.


On Tuesday, the DA and EFF entered the fray and condemned Ntuli for flexing his muscles and ordering the guards to “conduct a reign of terror” at the council offices.

Kingsol Chabalala, DA political head for Emfuleni north, said: “Emfuleni CFO [chief financial officer] Mr Andile Dyakala’s disciplinary hearing has been concluded and he is meant to return to work.

“However, he is being prevented from doing this by Emfuleni municipal manager [Ntuli]. In a video seen by the DA, the CFO was forcefully removed from his office last week.

“The municipality is going to court to fight against the reinstatement of the CFO, which will cost it more money instead of focusing on service delivery.

“To date, Emfuleni has paid the CFO R1 ‪614 747 to sit at home since the suspension, despite his willingness to return to work and perform his duties.”

Chabalala said the cash-strapped municipality has paid three law firms more than R7-million on legal fees in an attempt to stop Dyakala from returning to work.


“It is unacceptable that our residents continue to suffer due to a lack of service delivery while hundreds of thousands of rands are spent on paying a CFO to sit at home.

“The DA demands a review of the work being done by this appointed law firm to determine whether they are suitable for this matter, which has prolonged and continues to milk the municipality’s coffers.

“The DA will continue to put pressure on Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi and the Gauteng MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs to resolve service delivery issues in this municipality and put an end to this CFO issue.”

Isaac Khithika, EFF chairperson for the Sedibeng region, said the municipality has never had stability in senior management for the longest time.

“There have been many problems emanating from financial management including non-payment of salaries on payday, the continued attachment of the bank account by Eskom and Rand Water, and inconsistent service delivery,” said Khithika.

“The municipality cannot afford to have a senior position like that of the CFO not stabilised. We are also not aware of any council resolution that calls for the extension of the ‘suspension’ of the CFO.

“Emfuleni as a collapsed municipality will not recover immediately if there is no deliberate decision taken to ensure the issue of the CFO is finalised.”

Dyakala, who was instrumental in commissioning the Comperio forensic report that exposed the looting of more than R800-million by several municipal officials, was kicked out of his office on Friday, a day after he returned to work from his suspension.

Dyakala, who was suspended in March 2022 on allegations that he had extended contracts of staff and violated supply chain management (SCM) policies, did not resist his eviction.

He was suspended after he was cleared of SCM charges but was found guilty of extending staff contracts. He was then sanctioned that he should be given a written warning and ordered to return to work on August 25 2022.

However, on his arrival he was stopped at the gate by the security.

On the same day, Raphela Attorneys wrote to the CFO’s lawyers Ntsoane Attorneys that Dyakala should not return to work until the report was tabled before a council meeting.

Dyakala approached the Labour Court for unlawful suspension, arguing that there was no resolution by council that his suspension must be extended, as lawyers had no authority on the matter.

The Labour Court resolved that the matter must be heard at Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, which ruled on Wednesday last week that Dyakala’s suspension had ended on August 25 2022.

Asked if he had acted on instructions from Ntuli to kick Dyakala out of his office, Mpfaraleni Maseanoka (acting municipal manager) said he found Pule Hlahane (acting head of legal) speaking to the CFO and telling him that he should leave.

“I was not involved in calling the security to remove Mr Dyakala, but Ntuli instructed public safety to remove him,” said Maseanoka.

“We told him that he must leave without causing a scene. When I got there, we discussed but he called his lawyer, then told me that he was not going anywhere.”

Dyakala contradicted him: “I was unlawfully stopped from doing my work as the CFO due to unlawful instruction from the municipal manager.

“Mr Ntuli failed in his fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of the municipality and adhere to the CCMA ruling and stop fruitless and wasteful expenditure.”

Ntuli refused to comment and referred Sunday World to Makhosonke Sangweni, spokesperson for the municipality.

Sangweni said: “The matter is still at the Labour Court for review. Dyakala was suspended by the council. The municipal manager only acted on the instructions of council and the council is waiting for a Labour Court decision.

“The CFO knows very well that for him to come to work was unprocedural.”

 

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