D-Day for Muthambi’s top three officials
The public service minister has served notices of suspension on her director-general, his deputy and the finance chief, apparently due to their tough stance on financial controls
The top three officials in the department of Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi’, including its director-general and chief financial officer, have until Friday to give her reasons why they should not be suspended.
Muthambi is said to have served director-general Mashwahle Diphofa‚ finance chief Masilo Makhura and deputy director-general for administration Linda Shange with suspension notices on Wednesday, effective from Friday.
It is understood Muthambi decided to suspend the officials because they had opposed the direction in which she wanted to take the department and took a tough stance on fiscal control.
The department is meant to set the tone for other government departments on administrative matters.
The minister is said to be unhappy with the refusal of Diphofa and Makhura to make funds available for her izimbizo programmes or road shows.
The Sunday Times reported in June that Muthambi had stripped Diphofa of his powers to run the department after he and Makhura had turned the tap off on her izimbizos. Asked to confirm or deny the matter‚ Muthambi’s spokesman, Pfarelo Maduguma‚ declined‚ saying that it was not policy to comment on employer-employee relations.
“I hereby confirm that it is the policy of the department not to discuss any issues relating to the matters pertaining to the employment of any employee of the department‚ irrespective of their seniority‚ with outside persons‚ the media included.
“Insofar as your allegations set out in your query are concerned‚
“I would advise that you follow up with your sources‚ if any,” Maduguma said.
“The issues you are querying about are of an employer and employee nature and as such I’m not in a position to discuss this with you‚” he said.
Sources close to Diphofa said he was prepared to leave rather than be bullied into signing on unlawful decisions.