The writing is on the wall for eThekwini city manager Sibusiso Sithole‚ who has been asked to leave his position immediately. The decision‚ announced at a media conference on Thursday afternoon‚ was "to allow the process of appointing his replacement to proceed smoothly". Sithole’s coveted and powerful position will now be taken by Dumisile Nene‚ deputy city manager for human resources and corporate services, in an acting capacity for three months. Sithole and mayor Zandile Gumede held a joint media briefing on Thursday afternoon, where the latter denied that Sithole had been suspended or placed on leave. Gumede said the move to accelerate Sithole’s contract was to allow for continuity since Sithole was also an applicant. Sithole‚ whose five-year contract as head of the city administration ends on December 31‚ was reportedly told by Gumede to take leave until the end of the month. Sithole‚ citing municipal processes‚ defied the order. Gumede denied this interpretation.

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