‘Education spin doctor's resignation not part of a department purge'

2010-10-29 00:00

THE acting director-general of the Department of Higher Education and Training, Gwebinkundla Qonde, and the department’s head of communications Ranjeni Munusamy have dismissed speculations that Munusamy’s resignation at the end of the month is part of a purge reportedly taking place within the department.

In a joint statement issued by Qonde and Munusamy yesterday, they said Munusamy will leave the employ of the department by mutual consensus at the end of the month “to pursue other interests”.

“We note speculative reporting in the media regarding tensions prompting the departure of senior staff of the department. We wish to state that Munusamy is leaving by mutual agreement and was not under any compulsion to do so … The work of the department is proceeding as normal and staff have been assured that any talk of a purge is false.”

Munusamy’s departure comes shortly after the department’s director-general Mary Metcalfe announced her resignation after speculations that an argument between her and Minister Blade Nzimande occurred when Nzimande ordered her resignation.

The joint statement also announced that, until the appointment of new communications and media liaison staff, all media queries for the department should be directed to the office of the acting director-general, while ministry queries should be directed to chief of staff Nqaba Nqandela.

“The department wishes her well in her career and thanks her for her good performance in communicating the important work of the minister and the department.”

Munusamy, who is a former journalist-turned-spin-doctor, said she does not yet know what she will take on now, and refused to comment further on the matter, referring all questions to Qonde.

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