Newcastle – An administrative bungle at the Newcastle Municipality has resulted in its former mayor receiving his salary for almost two months despite resigning from his job.
Advocate Makhosini Nkosi resigned on January 15 to join the Durban Bar of Advocates, but the municipality paid his mayoral salary for January and February.
The council postponed discussions about Nkosi’s resignation until February, just a few days before the inauguration of the new mayor, Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba.
He has since been ordered to pay back the money, estimated at about R90 000.
Nkosi said he intended to pay without hesitation.
Councillors were furious during an executive meeting this week and questioned why Nkosi remained on the payroll. They demanded that the money be recovered.
Nkosi’s resignation caught many by surprise, and it was alleged that the ANC had tried to convince him to change his mind.
EFF councillor Musa Thwala questioned Nkosi’s integrity and the municipality’s administration blunder.
“It is strange that a mayor would still earn a salary from his former employer after he resigned. Nkosi’s salary should have been stopped seven days after he resigned. I raised this matter during Exco in January,” said Thwala.
“He should not have been paid in January, and it baffled me when I learned he was again paid a salary in February.
“The former mayor should have also been honest and reported it as soon he received the salary. He is an advocate, he knows the law, he also knows the municipality is not in good financial status, yet he kept quiet when he received money he was no longer entitled to,” said Thwala.
DA councillor Bebsie Cronje threatened to report the matter to the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta).
“They kept postponing to take a resolution on his resignation until February, but this should not have stopped the municipality from processing his resignation and removing him from payroll.
“We are really upset about the salary he continued to earn, and should the money not be recovered as soon as possible, we would take the matter to Cogta,” said Cronje.
Mahlaba said he instructed acting municipal manager Muzi Mayisela to make Nkosi pay back the money.
Mayisela confirmed Nkosi was paid after his resignation.
“The municipality was in the process of recovering the money,” said Mayisela.
Nkosi said he informed the administration when he received the salary and said he would not hesitate to pay it back.
“When I received the salary, I informed a guy from the salaries department about it, but he said a resolution about my resignation had not been taken by the council, and according to the system, I was still a mayor,” he said.
“I don’t have any issues with paying back the money as I knew I should not have been paid after I left. The money will be returned without any hesitation.”