Shiceka not returning to work

2011-07-14 13:01

Spokesperson for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka today dismissed reports that the minister would return to work soon after six months on sick leave.

“We have not been informed of that,” said Vuyelwa Vika. “As far as I’m aware, he remains on sick leave.”

Today’s Sowetan newspaper quoted sources as saying Shiceka would meet President Jacob Zuma to inform him that he was ready to resume his duties.
Government spokesman Jimmy Manyi said he was also not aware of an imminent return to work by Shiceka.

He believed that the minister’s ministry would issue a statement during the course of the day “to clarify the situation”.

Shiceka has been on indefinite sick leave since February and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has been acting in his portfolio.

Zuma has been under pressure to replace Shiceka following reports that alleged he abused government funds by, among other things, flying to Switzerland to visit a lover in prison.

In April, Parliament’s Ethics Committee requested Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to probe the allegations, marking the first time the committee has taken such a step against a sitting minister.

News reports suggested this week that a Cabinet reshuffle was on the cards, with Zuma using the appointment of a new co-operative governance minister as an opportunity to make other changes that could strengthen his hand ahead of next year’s ANC elective conference in Mangaung, Free State. 

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