‘You made me leave, so you owe me R1.7-million’ 

By Sihle Mavuso

The former manager of Dannhauser municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal, Shaka Cele, has filed a court application to force the municipality to pay him R1.7-million. 

Cele also wants the municipality to pay him interest on the money and also his hefty legal bill after instructing lawyers to fight to enforce the settlement. 

This means that if Cele wins the court battle, the municipality would eventually have to fork out about R2.5-million. 

This is according to court papers filed by Cele at the Pietermaritzburg High Court. The municipality is opposing the application. 

In August last year, shortly after the IFP was removed from power by the ANC-EFF-Community Freedom Party coalition, Cele was suspended from work.

Feeling hard done by, he filed an urgent application with the Labour Court in Durban to get his job back and the court ruled in his favour, saying the council had acted unlawfully. 

However, when he resumed his duties following the court order, the municipality represented by its mayor, Bongani Hadede, asked him to consider a mutual divorce, saying it was no longer feasible to work with him. 

Cele accepted the request to leave and it was agreed that he would be paid for 14 months and part of his August 2023 salary. 

According to Cele’s court papers, the municipality was supposed to pay him within 30 days after he left office.

Months later, the financially struggling municipality reneged on the deal, forcing Cele to seek  intervention in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. 

The court has yet to set a date to hear the matter.

Pictured above: Former municipal manager Shaka Cele. 

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