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Sacked director-general of Land Affairs Glen Thomas has come out spitting fire, saying he has been made a scapegoat for the government's failure to deliver on land reform.
Thomas, fired by Land Affairs Minister Lulu Xingwana last week, spoke about his dismissal for the first time this week.
He said Xingwana fired him because she wanted to appoint her sidekick Thozi Gwanya.
"This has nothing to do with my performance because the minister did not mention this when we met on October 29, the day of my dismissal.
"I fail to understand that Glen Thomas has not delivered. However, I saw this coming by the manner in which we related," he said.
He said his relationship with Xingwana was rocky and that they had often clashed.
Thomas said Xingwana also did not mention as reasons for the termination his attendance of the Rugby World Cup and his consequent failure to appear before the land affairs parliamentary committee.
"My attendance at the Rugby World Cup was not linked with this matter. I could not attend the portfolio committee meeting because I missed my flight," he said.
He said rumours that Xingwana wanted to fire him were widespread and he had heard of them as early as last year.
He dismissed as untrue any suggestion that he had under-performed on land reform. He said he had always advocated a more radical approach to land reform in the department.
He said he had initiated the scrapping of the willing-seller, willing-buyer policy, had introduced land tax to prevent unscrupulous landowners from speculating, and had ensured that foreign land ownership was regulated.
"All these things came about during my tenure as DG," he said.
Thomas said his aim had been to accelerate land reform since he joined the department in May 2005 and "I think I have achieved that."