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Six suspended provincial bosses collect more than R12m for sitting at home

11 June 2022 - 12:20
Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele has revealed that six suspended heads of provincial departments have been paid more than R12m while sitting at home.
Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele has revealed that six suspended heads of provincial departments have been paid more than R12m while sitting at home.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

Six suspended heads of provincial departments who have been sitting at home for more than a year have been paid more than R12m.

Among them is Free State human settlements head Tim Mokhesi, who is implicated in the province’s asbestos roof scandal.

This was revealed by minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele in response to a parliamentary question from DA MP Mimmy Gondwe. 

Gondwe asked Gungubele about the number of provincial department heads who are on suspension with full pay, the reasons for each suspension and their length. She also asked how much the suspensions have cost taxpayers.

Gungubele listed six suspended officials — two in Mpumalanga, two in the Free State, one in the Northern Cape and one in KwaZulu-Natal. Cumulatively, they have earned R12,256,227 so far while on suspension.

Suspended Free State human settlements head Tim Mokhesi testifies at the Zondo commission.
Suspended Free State human settlements head Tim Mokhesi testifies at the Zondo commission.
Image: Twitter/eNCA

Gungubele said Mokhesi was placed on precautionary suspension in June 2020. He faces misconduct charges related to tender irregularities. Gungubele said Mokhesi has earned R3,412,484 since his suspension.

Sipho Mtakati, head of the Free State sport, arts, culture and & recreation department, has been on precautionary suspension since May 2021 and faces charges related to tender irregularities. He has earned R1,978,533 since his suspension, said Gungubele.

The head of Mpumalanga's human settlements department, Kebone Masange, has been suspended on gross negligence charges since April 2021 and has earned R1,308,568.

The head of the Mpumalanga community safety, security and liaison department, Busi Nkuna, has been suspended since June 2021. Gungubele said Nkuna faces “charges relating to serious offence” and has been paid R1,196,064.

Northern Cape sports, arts and culture head Ruth Palm was suspended in September 2020 on “charges relating to fraud” and has been paid R2,014,340.

KwaZulu-Natal public works department head Gaster Sharpley was placed on precautionary suspension in November 2020 and faces charges relating to an allegation of misconduct regarding the appointment of the consultant compliance officer.

Gungubele said: “His continuous precautionary suspension is due to the fact that during the recent proceedings the presiding officer made a ruling in favour of the employer following the point in limine his legal representative had raised.” Sharpley has earned R2,346,238 while on suspension.

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