The bungling of the transfer of embattled KZN Social Development head Nokuthula Khanyile to the Agriculture Department will see her earning close to half-a-million rands for sitting at home, while an acting head of department gets paid to do her job.Despite an acting head having started work on Monday, Khanyile, who no longer performs any official duties for the department, is back on the department’s payroll.According to sources within the department, Khanyile, whose contract was extended by the provincial cabinet a few days ago, no longer reports for duty. “The new head has started and there is no longer any work for her, that is why she is now seated at home,” the source said.Khanyile’s five-year contract expired at the end of last month but the cabinet decided to extend it by another three months. If she sits at home until the end of her contract in March, it will mean that Khanyile, who earns more than R150 000 a month, would have been paid close to R500 000 without doing any government work.Premier Sihle Zikalala was forced to bring in a new acting department head, Sbu Ngubane, following protests by senior officials accusing Khanyile of abusing them.The senior managers, who mobilised protests against Khanyile, also laid corruption charges against her, resulting in members of the Hawks raiding her Pietermaritzburg offices.“What made her situation untenable is the fact that Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza did not support her,” another official said.A week ago Zikalala attempted to transfer her to the provincial Agriculture Department’s Agribusiness Development Agency (ADA) as CEO.However, Zikalala backtracked after he was apparently advised that transferring Khanyile to ADA in the wake of a Hawks investigation would result in the public questioning his commitment to the fight against corruption.“As a result of the premier’s failure to handle the Khanyile matter properly, we now sit with a situation where two people are being paid for the same job,” the senior official said.A social worker by training, Khanyile is credited for putting in place systems that resulted in the department achieving good audit results in recent years.In the 2018/19 financial year the provincial Social Development and Treasury departments were the only two in the province that received a clean audit.Another official sympathetic to Khanyile said the embattled HOD was being pushed to allow people close to Khoza to run the department’s affairs.“Those officials fighting Khanyile have the backing of the MEC. Despite the fact that some of them are being investigated for various things, including poor performance, these people now call the shots at the department.“We know that some of the disgruntled senior officials want Khanyile to be dealt with for shifting them to other positions after they had failed to perform in their previous positions,” said the official.The Witness is in possession of documents showing that Khoza has reversed Khanyile’s decisions and returned the officials to their previous positions. Khoza denied taking sides in the battle between Khanyile and the senior managers, but confirmed that she had shifted some managers in the department.“There was nothing untoward in the decision of the MEC. We are currently in the process of stabilising the department owing to a number of challenges,” Khoza’s spokesperson, Mhlaba Memela, said.Zikalala’s spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso, could not be reached for comment while Khanyile’s cellphone was on voicemail the whole of Wednesday.