Ngoco’s disciplinary hearing starts
00:00 (GMT+2), Thu, 06 October 2011
Source: Candice Ludick (Knysna-Plett Herald)
Lonwabo Ngoqo, suspended Bitou municipal manager, decided to insist that his disciplinary hearing (DH) be open to the public as is his legal prerogative. “I have nothing to hide,” said Ngoqo.
The DH convened on Wednesday, September 28 at the municipality’s council chambers and was presided over by retired Supreme Court of Appeals judge, Pete Combrinck. Only two witnesses were heard and as such continuation has been postponed until October 12, 13 and 14.
Ngoqo was suspended on July 22 following a precautionary suspension since July 14. At that time, Executive Mayor Memory Booysen said, “The underlying reason for this decision was that it had become apparent that since the election he was reluctant to give the new council his full co-operation in its task of familiarising itself with the state of the administration and in taking over political control thereof.”
Bitou appointed Thys Giliomee, sole member of Employer’s Workplace Law to investigate the matter and compile a charge sheet. Ngoqo was supplied with a charge sheet by Frances Schroter on September 5.
None of the original allegations against Ngoqo were present in the final charge sheet.
The bulk of the charges against Ngoqo were related to the “wavelengths matter”, an intended property purchase with the intention of erecting low-cost housing in New Horizons, which went wrong.
The provincial government had made funds available to the municipality subject to an independent evaluation on its behalf. The municipality’s then legal counsel, Hardy Mills, had advised Booysen not to enter into the agreement as proposed by the provincial government.
Mills had cautioned the council and provided an independent valuer’s report compiled by Niel De Klerk, the former president and current examiner of the South African Institute of Valuers, stating that the R2.4 million valuation submitted by the provincial government “is so obviously false that it should be the subject of a disciplinary enquiry”.
Read the full story here.