ANC comrades take gloves off
A senior government official has been suspended after he accused ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman of trying to score political points at the funeral of murder and rape victim Anene Booysen.
Recently appointed Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries deputy director-general Greta Apelgren-Narkadien said she was forced to suspend spokesman Lionel Adendorf on Friday after he wrote a letter to the Cape Times.
In the letter, published on Thursday, Adendorf said Fransman's "conduct" at the funeral - where he attacked two DA politicians - had to be condemned as it was "inappropriate and disrespectful".
A day after the letter appeared, Adendorf was summoned to Apelgren-Narkadien's office and told he would be suspended for not declaring that the letter was written in his personal capacity and not as a spokesman for the department's fisheries branch.
Apelgren-Narkadien said the letter had been the final straw after numerous warnings.
"I have been warning him for a long time but he doesn't listen," said Apelgren-Narkadien.
She said though Adendorf was entitled to his views, he had to inform his superiors whenever he wrote letters to newspapers.
Apelgren-Narkadien said since her arrival in November, she had instructed Adendorf to call press conferences on some of the "controversial issues" facing the branch, including one on the hake sector survey.
"Instead of organising press conferences, he went travelling all over the country. But his wings have since been clipped," she said.
At the weekend, Adendorf insisted he had not been suspended, saying it was only a "rumour".
Fransman said it was unfortunate the attack on him was made by a government spokesman.
Adendorf, who is a known ANC activist, had lobbied against the party's current Western Cape leadership in favour of former provincial chairman Mcebisi Skwatsha.
Fransman said: "Last year, we saw many attacks on the ANC [provincial] leadership, in the run-up to Mangaung. We've now decided we'll take action against these. We're still dealing with bad practices ... What that government spokesman did is completely wrong," said Fransman.
He said though the letter had created a stir, he had not contacted Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to complain.