KZN premier spokesperson allegedly suspended

2015-08-17 18:22
(Amanda Khoza, News24)

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban – A spokesperson in the KwaZulu-Natal office of the premier has allegedly been placed on suspension pending an investigation into his conduct.

News24 has reliably learnt from a senior manager working in the provincial government that Ndabezinhle Sibiya was allegedly summoned on Monday, where KZN Director General Frikkie Brooks placed him on suspension.

Sibiya was also spokesperson to former Premier Zweli Mkhize, who in 2013 took up the position as ANC treasurer general.

However, head of communications Thami Ngwenya dismissed this, saying "the allegations were clearly aimed at creating instability in the office of the premier".

News24 has also learnt that Sibiya has not reported to work since January this year and has been racking up a monthly salary - he earns an annual package of R1m - while sitting at home.

"He is the equivalent of a director and no action has been taken against him all of these months," the source said.

"The premier, through the director general, will place Ndabe on suspension today [Monday]. He only came back to work last week and senior officials have been asked why they have not taken action against him."

The source said KZN Premier Senzo Mchunu summoned the director general and the chief of staff on Sunday and ordered them to suspend Sibiya.

"Ndabe is a loose cannon and ungovernable. He might be the victim here because Zweli Mkhize couldn't take him with when he went to Luthuli House," he said.

The alleged suspension comes a day after reports surfaced that Durban businessman Nick Dranias, 39, is suing the office of the premier for R2.3m after the government failed to settle an outstanding bill.

Dranias was the owner of De La Sol restaurant on Florida Road when he met Sibiya in 2010.

Currently the managing director of the La Vue floating restaurant, Dranias said on Monday Ndabe used to come to De La Sol with high profile South African politicians.

He said Sibiya approached him with a business proposition "to work with the office of the premier".

"I did the Aids awareness campaign, East Coast Radio Durban Day and Rebirth of Life in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

"And as the elections drew close in 2011, they said they want me to push the ANC and then we hosted a big party which we called the Razzmatazz. I was told the office of the premier would sponsor the event."

When Dranias asked Sibiya about the payment, he was allegedly sent from pillar to post.

"I received the first three payments through a travel agent. I did a total of 12 events and only got paid for three."

A frustrated Dranias turned to the courts for help. He is now waiting for the KwaZulu-Natal High Court to issue a court date for the matter to be heard.

When asked for comment, Sibiya referred queries the office of the premier.

Explaining Sibiya's absence, Ngwenya said the official had not been on leave since 2009. "He went on leave for the first time in December 2014 and returned to work early this year. When he returned, allegations were levelled against him by Dranias."

He said a notice of exception had been filed after the department was served with a summons.

"We wish to emphasise that summons fall in the legal domain. Notwithstanding that, we want to state that Dranias has been asked to provide documentary proof of his allegations."

Read more on:    senzo mchunu  |  zweli mkhize  |  durban  |  local government

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