Baloyi, DG met to iron out issues

2010-09-27 20:00

Johannesburg - Public Service Minister Richard Baloyi met the communications ministry's director general Mamodupi Mohlala on Monday to try and resolve problems around her dismissal, a spokesperson said.

"The minister... is meeting with Ms Mamodupi Mohlala today as part of the ongoing endeavours to find a suitable solution to the current dispute," spokesperson Dumisani Nkwamba said in a statement.

"The engagement is part of outstanding issues for which the minister has requested an extension of her special leave by seven days."

Nkwamba said Baloyi would "direct Ms Mohlala to be mindful of her conduct during this process and refrain from engaging with the media on the content of private and confidential consultations".

"Minister Baloyi has also reminded Ms Mohlala as a senior public servant to abide by the Code of Conduct as well as the Public Service Act and conduct herself in a professional manner befitting her position...The department will communicate once there is a final position on the matter," he said in a statement.

Irreparable breakdown

Earlier on Monday, the communications ministry said it had extended the leave granted to Mohlala.

The move came after it "noted media reports pertaining to the 'return' of Ms Mamodupi Mohlala to her former position as director general of the department of communications".

The Sunday Independent reported that Mohlala would be back at her desk on Monday, two months after she was dismissed by Minister Siphiwe Nyanda following an "irreparable breakdown" in their relationship.

Mohlala had learnt this week that she had been appointed as an administrator in the Public Service Sectoral and Training Authority, a position lower than her current one.

She had however not been formally offered the position, nor had she accepted it.

"The announcement in the (government) gazette is contrary to the (labour) court order. That is a six-month contract reporting to the higher education director general.

"I still have three years remaining in my contract as director general," the Sunday Independent quoted her saying.

Mohlala had contested the legality of her dismissal, arguing that only the president could fire a director general.

In a settlement with Nyanda it was agreed Mohlala would take a month's leave, during which Minister Baloyi would find a suitable post for her in the public service, negotiate "redeployment" with her and conclude the contract before September 27.

Failing this, she would continue to work in her position as the department's director general.

Mohlala reportedly said anyone who tried to stop her from returning to work would be in contempt of court.

She has rejected a R2.9m golden handshake.

Harold Wesso is currently acting as director general.