/ 31 July 2010

Zuma intervenes in Nyanda, Mohlala spat

Zuma Intervenes In Nyanda

President Jacob Zuma has delegated Public Service Minister Richard Baloyi to intervene in the dispute between Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda and his axed director general, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported on Friday.

This emerged in the Labour Court in Johannesburg where the ousted DG, Mamodupi Mohlala, was challenging her dismissal and demanding to be reinstated.

She said she was happy with Zuma’s intervention in the dispute.

“We received communication from the president late yesterday [Thursday] about the intervention,” she told SABC.

“It is quite heartening that the president has taken this in a serious light. I believe that as a responsible South African, when my president makes a request I obviously have to listen.”

The matter was postponed to August 26 on account of Nyanda being in China.

Presidential spokesperson Zizi Kodwa was unable to give further details of the intervention, referring queries to the department of communications.

Attempts to reach the department on Friday night were not successful.

Mohlala was fired last week in what the department said was a “process of trying to find solutions to the challenges as it became apparent that trust between her and Nyanda had broken down irretrievably”.

Departmental spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso said in a statement last Friday that Mohlala was not released from her contract because of tender issues mentioned in the media.

The saga reportedly began when Nyanda issued an instruction that all tenders for the department be cancelled until they had been “discussed and approved by the minister”.

It was understood that Mohlala then warned Nyanda that removing the administration of tenders from her would violate the Public Finances Management Act.

This is the latest saga landing Nyanda in the media spotlight.

In March, freight group Transnet dismissed two senior managers for irregularly awarding a R55-million tender to a company allegedly linked to Nyanda.

In a separate case, the Democratic Alliance alleged that a company partly owned by Nyanda was unlawfully awarded a R67,8-million tender by the Gauteng roads and transport department. – Sapa