Parliament’s finance watchdog, the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa), has raised concerns with the "worrying" trend of removing directors-general in conflict with their political principals. The trend has raised fears that many departments could struggle to fulfil their mandates. Directors-general are tasked with leading departments and ensuring their work is done. This week Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane suspended her director-general, Gorbachev Mashitisho, accusing him of, among other things, failing to appear before the water and sanitation portfolio committee in Parliament in June, besmirching her integrity during a Scopa meeting earlier in 2017 and failing to conclude the terms of reference for a probe into tenders. A few days later, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced the suspension of director-general Mike Mlengana. Although the department remained tight-lipped about the reasons on Thursday, Farmers Weekly quoted Mlenga...

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