Suspended director gets R3m salary ‘for doing nothing’

2015-02-08 12:01

A former director of the water affairs department has been drawing a R3 million salary following his suspension two years ago.

Maxwell Sirenya clashed with the then water affairs minister Edna Molewa over a R419 million tender in 2013, the Sunday Independent reported.

The information technology contract for Business Connexion pitted Molewa and former public administration minister Lindiwe Sisulu against each other, with Serenya in the middle.

According to the newspaper, Molewa and Sisulu clashed over whether Molewa was right in invoking the law to award the tender to Business Connexion.

State departments were required to use the services of the State Information Technology Agency (Sita), but Molewa lost patience with the agency and its delays, according to the report.

Serenya defied Molewa and sided with Sisulu. The matter would be resolved with new minister Nomvula Mokonyane expected to lift the suspension pending a new agreement, according to the newspaper.

“As you know, there has been a change of ministers. We’re busy talking with the current minister [Mokonyane].”

“It started in February 2013. I am not at work. I am at home, I am being paid for doing nothing,” Serenya was quoted as saying.

Serenya spent almost R300 000 in legal costs to defend himself. Molewa took away some of his payments and allowances, he told the newspaper.

His case was not unique and many director generals have found themselves in a similar situation, he told the publication.

Mokonyane’s chief of staff Collin Pitso told the newspaper that the matter was close to being settled.

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