Three presidential officials depart

2010-07-06 08:03

 The Presidency has announced three more departures by senior

officials in its office but denied that there was a “crisis”.

The department said: “There is no exodus of staff, and there is no

crisis or turmoil in the institution. These are normal staff movements as they

happen in any organisation at any time.”

The Presidency added that it was concerned about “speculative

reporting” on staff changes, saying President Jacob Zuma’s economic advisor Mandisi Mpahlwa and deputy

director-general for communications Vusi Mona would move to other jobs.

It said Mpahlwa had been appointed ambassador-designate to the

Russian Federation.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said: “Given the

importance of Russia, we needed a seasoned cadre to represent the president and

the national interest in that country.”

Mpahlwa will assume the post in September.

Mona will move to the Government Communications and Information


The Presidency said: “The weekend media reports that Mr Mona has

been asked to resign are incorrect.”

The resignation of chief director for presidential support services

Steyn Speed – “who is leaving to undertake further studies” – was also announced

in the statement.

Zuma spokesperson Vincent Magwenya resigned last week to “rejoin

the corporate world” and chief operating officer Jessie Duarte resigned in


At the time, the then deputy director-general in the Presidency –

and now chief of staff – Lakela Kaunda, dismissed reports linking her to Jessie

Duarte’s resignation as “grossly incorrect” and “unfortunate”.

“I have never had a quarrel with Ms Jessie Duarte,” said Kaunda at

the time.

In February, it was reported that Duarte wrote an emotional email

to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, citing a “smear campaign, gossip and

vilification” as reasons for intending to leave.

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