Allegations of religious intolerance a ploy to stall restructuring process, says Limpopo deputy DG

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  • Limpopo deputy director-general Nana Manamela believes allegations levelled against her were aimed at stalling a restructuring process.
  • The SAHRC investigated the matter and found no evidence to substantiate the claims made by Nehawu.
  • But Nehawu says not all witnesses were interviewed by the commission.

Limpopo deputy director-general Nana Manamela believes allegations of religious discrimination levelled against her were aimed at stalling the organisational restructuring process in the office of the premier.

Manamela, who is in charge of corporate management service in the office of the premier, has since been cleared by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) of allegations that she discriminated against staff members who belonged to the Zion Christian Church (ZCC).

The complaint was laid by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu).

Speaking to News 24 following the findings of the commission, Manamela said the allegations were meant to damage her reputation and to get her suspended, in order to stall the restructuring process.

Manamela said: 

They were unhappy with the organisational restructuring process. They wanted me to be suspended, so that the process could be stalled and finalised in my absence as the head of corporate management.

"Only the truth shall set me free. Unfortunately, the damage is already done to my reputation. As to what I'll do will depend on the policies of the office of the premier," Manamela said.

She said she had never discriminated against members of the ZCC because she also had family members who belonged to the church, which is one of the dominant churches in the province.

The commission investigation was initially marred by controversy around the methodology to be used, but the matter was subsequently resolved.

In its findings, the commission pointed out that allegations of religious intolerance against Manamela remain unfounded.

READ | SAHRC finds no evidence of religious discrimination in Limpopo premier's office

However, Nehawu is crying foul about the findings on the grounds that not all witnesses were interviewed by the commission.

Union branch chairperson Norman Mavhunga said the commission wanted the union to avail witnesses during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

He said there was no connection between the organisational restructuring process and the allegations of religious intolerance against Manamela.

"In fact, the organisational restructuring process was already under way when she (Manamela) was appointed deputy director-general," Mavhunga said.

The commission has indicated that its decision may be taken on judicial review within 180 days.

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