/ 15 July 2010

Nyanda lashes out ‘false, malicious’ report

Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda on Thursday rejected a report that he was suspending his director-general as “false, spurious and malicious”.

Nyanda had noted a newspaper report suggesting he was about to suspend the department’s director general Mamodupi Mohlala, following alleged disagreements over the issuing of tenders by the department and other issues, his spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso said.

“Minister Nyanda dismisses the allegations contained in the report as false, spurious and malicious,” he said.

The minister exercised political oversight over the department and gave it policy direction in line with his statutory and constitutional mandate.

Furthermore, he respected the legal prescripts defining the scope, nature and extent of his responsibilities.

He was not involved in issuing or adjudication of tenders, which were the responsibility of the management of the department.

Nyanda would continue with his responsibility of ensuring that the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), Public Service Act (PSA) and all relevant laws and regulations were adhered to and not flouted within the department.

Nyanda would not address administration and human resources issues of the department through the media.

This position was in deference to the staff of the department, including Mohlala.

“The minister is dealing with issues that are impacting the management of the department internally and according to the applicable laws, regulations and public service policies,” Rikhotso said.

Business Day reported Nyanda was expected to suspend Mohlala following repeated disagreements over tenders she refused to sign.

It was understood that Mohlala warned Nyanda this week that removing the administration of tenders from her would violate the PFMA, it said.

On Monday Nyanda instructed that all tenders for the department be cancelled until they had been “discussed and approved by the minister”.

Business Day said he also changed Mohlala’s job description, effectively stripping her of some powers, including the administering of tenders, for which she was responsible as accounting officer. – Sapa