DG rejects R1.6m offer

2010-07-25 09:04

Axed communications director-general (DG) Mamodupi Mohlala rejected

a payout offer of a year’s salary of R1.6 million from minister Siphiwe Nyanda

because she allegedly believed she was entitled to more than that.

Nyanda’s decision to fire her is said to have been endorsed by

President Jacob Zuma and public service minister Richard Baloyi.

This was after

a battle between Mohlala and Nyanda – ­allegedly for control of tenders.

Nyanda had offered Mohlala a year’s salary to vacate her office as

one of the country’s most powerful directors-general.

She wanted to be paid out the full ­remaining 26 months of her

­contract or be redeployed ­somewhere else in government.

Correspondence between Nyanda and Mohlala indicated that the two

are at each other’s throats over alleged interference in tenders, lies,

insubordination and breach of confidence.

In return, Mohlala accused Nyanda of taking her delegated powers to

award tenders without consulting her and demanded that the minister provide her

with the laws which “empower him to be involved” in the ­awarding of


Nyanda also claimed Mohlala wanted to trample over the ­authority

of the SABC board by ­appointing consultants to offer advice on the turnaround

­strategy for the broadcaster.

Mohlala hit back by asking whether Nyanda was claiming that he had

not approved the ­appointment of the consultants.

She also demanded that Nyanda

provide her with minutes of a meeting in June at which the ­appointments of the

consultants were made.

Nyanda accused Mohlala of failing to retract and clarify claims

that he had intended to suspend her because she had ­refused to award tenders to

­people linked to the minister.

Mohlala said, however, she would not clarify the claims ­because it

was not her duty to ­communicate with the media on behalf of the minister.

In his Tuesday letter to Mohlala, Nyanda accused the former DG of

appointing people to ­senior management positions without consulting him.

He said: “Consistent with the deliberate misconstruction of your

powers, you have employed persons in the senior management department without my

consent or knowledge.”

Mohlala was adamant, however, and demanded that Nyanda provide her

with the sections of the Public Service Act which “require that our client

should consult the minister in appointing acting personnel”.

The relationship between the two soured in the past two weeks over

claims that Nyanda wanted to interfere in the awarding of tenders by the

department – an allegation he has denied.

Nyanda told Zuma and Baloyi about his settlement offer before

terminating the contract.

On Wednesday Zuma indicated that Nyanda had ­mentioned the matter

involving the DG to him in passing, but City Press understands that it was more

than just “a mention”.

Mohlala yesterday said

she was seeking legal advice on her dismissal.

“There was no

disciplinary hearing and the manner in which the decision (to terminate her

contract) was taken is a cause for concern,” she said.

Asked about the offer made to her, Mohlala said: “If no settlement

is reached, it doesn’t mean that you then terminate. There was no settlement

reached between the parties.”

Nyanda’s spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso said a proposal for a

re-determination of the DG’s employment contract was made to Mohlala, in line

with the public service act and laws.

“This was done in consultation with the

relevant department (Public Service and Administration)”.

He could not say what

the outcome was of the proposal that was made to the former DG.

Government officials said ­Mhlala has dug her own grave because of

her dictatorial leadership style.

Since taking over in September, more than ten

officials have been fired, suspended or had resigned. The department has also

spent millions on consultants and legal fees.

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