‘No ads for City Press’

2011-12-22 14:51

Mpumalanga human settlements head David Dube has instructed his staff not to place advertisements in City Press and threatened to bug their cellphones following the publication of negative stories about the department.

Two departmental insiders told City Press that during a senior managers’ meeting last week Dube complained bitterly about the negative publicity stemming from two stories.

“(Dube) hardly calls staff meetings unless he wants to react to something,” said a source.

“He told senior managers that they should not advertise anything in City Press because the paper was fighting him, hence the vacant posts last week were only advertised in other papers even though your paper is normally preferred by government. He then said that he would engage a cellphone service provider to find all officials who leak information to the paper,” he said.

City Press reported last month how Dube defied treasury advice by dishing out RDP housing contracts worth R331.2 million last year to politicians and individuals with ties to politicians without advertising the tender even though it exceeded R500 000.

The paper also reported that the department had bought two pieces of land from Bongiveli CC at high prices.

Bongiveli CC bought 70 hectares outside Malelane for R41 million this year and sold it to the department for R50 million on August 18.

The company also bought 414 hectares of land outside Ermelo for R11.9 million and within a month sold it to the department for R36 million.

Human settlements spokesperson Freddy Ngobe said matters discussed in the meeting were internal.

“The department holds its management meetings to look at issues that affect its smooth running, therefore, all administrative matters remain internal.

“What is being discussed in management meetings are matters that seek to impact positively on the livelihood of the people and their interest,” Ngobe said.

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