Stan Mathabatha suspends public works ­head

2014-03-28 15:27

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha has suspended yet another head of department – the fourth in eight months – as part of his bid to rid the troubled province of corruption and maladministration.

Mathabatha’s office announced today that he had decided to put public works head of department Mamadimalo Chaamano under precautionary suspension weeks after he did the same to sports, arts and culture HOD Basani Baloyi.

Half of the provincial administration was put under administration 27 months ago. Now, half the province is being run by acting department heads after Mathabatha suspended the four as well as the province’s director general, Rachel Molepo-Modipa between August and October last year.

Limpopo will now have an acting DG as well as four acting HODs. Insiders say more senior government officials could bite the dust soon.

The axe fell on Chaamano following an investigation into his department – one of five placed under administration in December 2011 amid rampant corruption and maladministration which nearly bankrupted the province.

“The suspension will afford the province and the administrators time to make further investigations into the allegations against (Chaamano),” said Mathabatha’s spokesperson Kenny Mathivha.

He said Chaamano headed a department in which “lots of teachers were employed as engineers”. Mathabatha apparently set Chaamano aside after studying a report into an investigation conducted into public works and was convinced that the HOD had some answering to do. The premier’s office was not clear on what allegations or possible charges he was facing.

Meanwhile, Mathivha has dismissed reports and comments that Mathabatha was out to get rid of the old regime – senior officials who worked under former premier Cassel Mathale.

All five suspended senior officials held the same positions when Mathale was at the helm and when five key departments were placed under administration.

Mathale was forced to resign by Luthuli House when the ANC provincial executive committee he led was dissolved.

“The unfortunate part is that you can’t satisfy everyone because everybody is related to somebody. These suspensions have got nothing to do with anyone’s era but have everything to do with what they did,” Mathivha said.

Responding to suggestions that the province was being run by “actors”, Mathivha said: “That will never cripple government because most of the suspended HODs are from departments that are under administration. The other thing is that we can’t confirm appointments of HODs while administrators are still in charge.”

Other suspended HODs are Nana Manamela from cooperative governance, human settlements and traditional affairs, as well as Morebudi Thamaga from education.

Mathivha said progress in the pair’s cases, as well as that of the DG, was at an advanced stage.

Since Mathabatha took office, almost 90 senior managers have been investigated or called to disciplinary hearings, while more than 300 cases linked to corruption and maladministration were being investigated in a multi-pronged probe by investigators from the Department of Public Service and Administration, the SAPS’s Hawks unit and SA Revenue Services, among others.

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