Bhisho to appoint new DG by April 1
The Eastern Cape provincial government has set itself the target of April 1, the beginning of the 2020-21 financial year, to fill the vacant director-general position.
This was revealed by premier Oscar Mabuyane on Friday, who said the process to find Marion Mbina-Mthembu's replacement was at an advanced stage.
“At an appropriate time, we will announce an update. I know the advert period has closed and the panel will soon meet, consolidate all information, and look at how we are to move forward on this.
“But whatever happens, from April 1, we should be having a new DG because we cannot start the new financial year without a head of administration,” said Mabuyane.
Mbina-Mthembu vacated the top post on December 31. She resigned in November, seven months before her five-year contract would have ended in May 2020.
The resignation came amid speculation of ongoing “tense working relations” between her and Mabuyane — though the premier at the time disputed this, saying DG had requested early retirement.
Mabuyane at the time said claims he had not seen eye-to-eye with his administration boss were blatant lies.
While Mabuyane at the time said all was well between him and Mbina-Mthembu, at least two insiders in government and the ANC, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Dispatch that “bad blood between the two had led to Mbina-Mthembu’s early exit”.
Mabuyane also confirmed that controversial administrator Siphokazi Ndudane, whom he appointed in early December as the new rural development & agrarian reform HoD, was yet to assume office.
Ndudane, a former deputy director-general at the department of agriculture, forestry & fisheries (Daff), was meant to report for duty at the beginning of January, but that has been delayed after it emerged that Mabuyane appointed her just days after she was fired by her previous employer for allegedly stealing three tons of abalone worth R7m.
Ndudane is on record saying she would drag DAFF to court for continuing with her disciplinary hearing after she resigned. In December she promised to file the lawsuit “in the next few days” — but at the time of writing on Friday she had yet to file the papers.
Mabuyane gave her until the end of December to sort out the snafu with Daff. On Friday, Mabuyane said the matter had not yet been resolved.
“It's a matter that is being handled within the Labour Relations Act context and we will pronounce on outcomes soon.
“It is critical that we get concurrence for her to start at work. There is no way that we will be breaking a law on that. If there is a law to be respected, that law will be respected.”