New job for Khanyile

2019-12-03 11:09

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KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has thrown a lifeline to embattled Social Development head Nokuthula Khanyile , who was left in limbo after another person was put in her position despite her still being employed by the department.

Reliable sources within Zikalala’s office told The Witness that Khanyile, who has been sitting at home for more than a week following her replacement, has been moved to the Premier’s Department.

“The premier has approved her transfer to the Department of the Premier and she is due to start tomorrow [Tuesday].

“There has been a lot of speculation about her future and the premier, as the person responsible for the appointment of department heads, felt it was necessary to bring finality around the Khanyile’s matter and hence the decision to officially transfer her to the Department of the Premier,” the source said.

Zikalala was forced to remove Khan­yile from her position as the Social Development provincial head following protests by certain senior managers at the department who had accused her of corruption and bullying.

Complaints by the senior managers resulted in members of the elite investigative unit, the Hawks, raiding her Pietermaritzburg offices and confiscating her work cellphone and laptop.

According to another source, Zikalala, who has since launched an investigation into the complaints against Khanyile, was not convinced that the grievances against her were genuine.

“Despite the senior managers within the Social Development Department having been complaining about Khanyile’s leadership for a while, the premier is yet to be presented with concrete evidence proving that she was this bad leader whom some people want everyone to believe she was. It is for this reason that the premier resolved to launch an official investigation so that the claims by the disgruntled managers can be properly tested,” the source said.

There have been perceptions that Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza was backing the disgruntled managers.

This after Khoza had reversed Khanyile’s decision to shift certain senior managers who had been fingered in the auditor-general (AG) report and who have become the focus of an internal probe led by the provincial Treasury Department. However, Khoza, who returned the officials to their previous positions last week, has claimed to have done nothing wrong.

“The MEC looked into the reasons that led to the shifting of the officials and found no compelling grounds for shifting them,” Khoza’s spokesperson, Mhlaba Memela, said.

Khanyile, who had earlier been tipped to take a chief executive position in the provincial department’s Agribusiness Development Agency, is credited for putting in place systems that resulted in the provincial Social Department achieving good audit results in recent years.

In the 2018/19 financial year the department, alongside the provincial Treasury Department, was the only one out of the 14 KZN departments to receive a clean audit.

KZN provincial government spokesperson Lennox Mabaso could not confirm Khanyile’s new posting. “We will issue a statement in due course,” he said.

By Monday afternoon, it was not yet clear what role Khanyile, who has been replaced by Social Development acting head Sbu Ngubane, will assume in the Department of the Premier.


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