Communication DG axed

2010-07-24 09:00

The director-general of the Department of Communication Mamodupi

Mohlala has been “released” from her contract.

Department spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso said: “In the process of

trying to find solutions to the challenges, it subsequently became apparent that

trust between Minister Siphiwe Nyanda and the director-general has broken down


Rikhotso said Mohlala was not released from her contract because of

tender issues mentioned in the media.

He said the department recently faced a number of challenges

“relating to internal processes and procedure”.

Nyanda and the Deputy Minister Dina Pule met the director-general

to resolve the issues as they threatened the day-to-day operations of the

department and impacted negatively on its image.

In the interest of the department, the staff and government, the

minister concluded that it would be best to release Mohlala from her position as

director general with effect from yesterday, he said.

Harold Wesso was appointed the acting director-general to ensure

that the work of the department was not negatively affected.

Wesso was reportedly appointed as an acting director-general for

two days after a fallout between Nyanda and Mohlala.

Nyanda last week dismissed reports that he was “suspending” Mohlala

– following repeated disagreements over tenders she refused to sign – as “false,

spurious and malicious”.

Nyanda reportedly issued an instruction that all tenders for the

department be cancelled until they had been “discussed and approved by the


It was understood that Mohlala warned Nyanda this week that

removing the administration of tenders from her would violate the Public

Finances Management Act.

Controversial tenders

The saga with his director-general is the latest landing Nyanda in

the media spotlight.

In March, freight group Transnet dismissed two senior managers for

irregularly awarding a R55 million tender to a company allegedly linked to


In a separate case, the Democratic Alliance alleged that a company

partly owned by Nyanda was unlawfully awarded a R67.8 million tender by the

Gauteng roads and transport department.

Earlier this year Nyanda was accused of indulging in a “caviar and

silk” lifestyle after allegedly spending thousands of rands on hotel stays at

the luxurious Mount Nelson and Twelve Apostles hotels and buying two R1.2million BMWs for his work.

Congress of SA Trade Union leader Zwelinzima Vavi singled out

Nyanda when criticising government’s failure to act on allegations of corruption

in Cabinet.

Vavi had said reports that Nyanda had spent half-a-million rand on

hotels in Cape Town should be probed, which landed him in hot water with its

ally in the ruling alliance, the ANC.

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