Official in trouble for Tokyo bashing

2009-11-30 05:19

A DEFENCE and military veterans ministry official is in hot water

for issuing a statement attacking Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale

without permission.

Ndivhuwo Mabaya, spokesperson for Defence and Military Veterans

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, is in trouble for issuing a statement in which he

attacked Sexwale, who canned a R5-million play about the state’s low-cost

housing plans.

Mabaya said Sexwale had not introduced a single project of his own

since assuming office and implied that the minister was getting kudos for

initiatives introduced during ­Sisulu’s tenure.

Yesterday the defence department issued a statement on behalf of

the ministry distancing itself from Mabaya’s attack on Sexwale.

It said “administrative processes” – understood to be disciplinary

processes – were being instituted against Mabaya, who was not named in the

statement.

The department said Sisulu did not authorise Mabaya’s statement

about Sexwale.

Department spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said: “While we understand

that the intentions of the official involved were to correct what he regarded as

distortions and misperceptions being propagated in the media, the tone and

language were unfortunate and he had no sanction to express himself under cover

of an official statement – albeit not on a letterhead. It is not befitting an

officer of government to speak in that fashion of a minister, whatever his or

her views. The department will take the necessary remedial steps to ensure there

is no repetition.”

The ministers also tried to mend perceptions of a rift between the

two of them, saying they were “surprised and taken aback by complete

misinterpretations of the state of their working relationship”.

On Friday the ANC rebuked the two ministers and called on them to

set aside their differences and work together to advance the ruling party’s

programmes.

Senior government officials said, however, Mabaya was a sacrificial

lamb because he was not merely ­expressing his own views but had consulted on

the matter.

Mabaya could not be reached for comment.

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