Suspensions lifted on 3 Limpopo heads

2015-04-15 21:07

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Polokwane - Limpopo government leaders on Wednesday agreed to lift the suspensions of three heads of departments, claiming that they were trying to curb fruitless expenditure. 

Public works head, Madidimalo Chaamano; sports, arts and culture head Basani Baloyi; and education head Morebudi Thamaga, were suspended during Section 100 administrations.

Now the three are set to return to work after sitting at home for more than 12 months, receiving salaries.

Their suspension was viewed, by some, as a desperate push to force officials, appointed by ousted premier Cassel Mathale, out of the administration as well.

They were suspended after Mathale was removed following accusation that his administration failed to protect taxpayers’ money. Public finance management guidelines were undermined, spiralling the province into a R2bn overdraft in 2011.

However, they did refused to lift the suspension of director general Rachel Molepo Modipa and her co-operative governance head Nana Manamela.

Instead they ordered that disciplinary action should continue while the three return to junior positions.

The provincial government announced the decision on Wednesday after Premier Stan Mathabatha's executive council meeting.

Government spokesperson Phuti Seloba told a media briefing on Wednesday that a decision was taken to lift the suspensions.

But he said they would not be allowed to return to their old posts.

Seloba said investigations were completed on the three and government had resolved that they should return to work, pending the outcome of their cases.

“We have decided to lift the suspension of the head of the Department for Education, [Morebudi] Thamaga, because we are not a vindictive administration.

 “We believe that now investigations are complete, and we are paying the official,s it’s high time they continue working, pending the outcome of their cases.

“We have also taken the same decision in relation to Madidimalo Tshamano, of public works, and Mme Basani Baloyi to say they need to comeback and work while we are processing their cases.

Seloba said the other cases were still subject to investigations and disciplinary hearings were at an advanced stage.

“As for the cases of head of Cogsta, Manamela, the director general Modipa, we believe that the cases are at an advance stage, where most likely by the end of May those cases would have been concluded."

Regarding Thamaga, Baloyi and Tshamano, Seloba said they busy processing the cases and formulating charges.

At least 88 cases were handed to Mathabatha by administrators who were deployed in 2011 to fix the rot in the government at the time.

Seloba said there were other officials continuing to work while undergoing disciplinary hearings, but but did not name them.

“It also proves our stand that we are not a vindictive government,” he said.

However, others saw the move as an admission that there was no evidence against them, and was rather a failed plot to unseat them from their positions.

The suspended officials were appointed by ousted premier Mathale, and become the subject of purge discussions when Mathabatha took over.

But Seloba said: “We have got nothing against them, our belief is that there will be consequences for your action or lack of action, so in this instance we are holding people accountable, not in malicious and personal.”

The government hoped that all cases would be completed in December at the latest.

Read more on:    cassel mathale  |  limpopo  |  service delivery  |  local government

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