Limpopo govt dismisses spokesperson for 'leaking sensitive information' about premier

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Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha. (Daily Sun)
Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha. (Daily Sun)

Limpopo government spokesperson Phuti Seloba has been dismissed for "leaking sensitive information" about Premier Stan Mathabatha to an opposition party, according to the sanction document. 

Late in 2018, EFF provincial leader Jossey Buthane posted on his social media platform that Seloba had told him Mathabatha allegedly missed important meetings sometimes - in some instances, where accommodation had been booked - because of alcohol consumption.

Buthane also wrote on the social media platform that Seloba told him that former sport, arts and culture MEC Onnica Moloi was behind a false rape charge Seloba once faced in early 2018.

Seloba was then suspended and a disciplinary committee was constituted.

He was found guilty on 27 March, 2020, after marathon proceedings in which Buthane also testified.

In the sanction document issued on Friday, and which News24 has seen, disciplinary committee chairperson PVH Maoka said Seloba and his attorney failed to submit mitigating factors, despite being requested to do so on or before 3 April, 2020.

Maoka concurred with the evidence of Buthane and director-general Nape Nchabeleng that the information "leaked" by Seloba was calculated to undermine the authority of the premier.

He said Seloba, as the head of provincial government communication, was being paid to be the first line of defence.

READ | Limpopo govt spokesperson's suspension found to be illegal and unfair

"Making an example, Mr Buthane testified that, even if the premier comes smelling of alcohol, Mr Seloba ought to have said it is perfume and not alcohol," Maoka said.

"He (Seloba) knew and understood the impact of what the information would be to the executive administration of the Limpopo government. He intentionally wanted to undermine the authority of the premier and bring the name of the Limpopo government into disrepute," he said.

Seloba referred comment to the National Health, Education and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu).

Nehawu hinted in a statement that the dismissal sanction may be challenged.

The union said Seloba could not submit mitigating factors because his attorney could not be reached due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

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