KZN DG denies plan to sack staff

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal is embroiled in a furore involving its director-general, Busi Nyembesi, and her staff.

Nyembesi has been accused of planning to "sack" the entire communications team who worked under former MEC for health, Zweli Mkhize.

Nyembesi has also been accused of having "run-ins" with her senior financial managers who questioned her leadership skills after she gave them warning letters for insubordination.

A senior official in the department, who did not want to be named, said the executive council has not convened meetings in months because Nyembesi threatened to fire members who failed to obey her orders.

The source told Sowetan that Nyembesi halted the process of short-listing job applications for a number of communications posts that had been advertised. Nyembesi was employed by the present health MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni, after the former director-general, Ronald Green-Thomson, left the position.

The MEC is believed to be behind efforts to purge members of the communications team.

But Nyembesi has denied she wants to sack Mkhize's staff.

"When I started in the department I heard that a number of people had been on contract for a long time. I cannot operate with contract people. We advertised the posts with the aim of giving people permanent positions."

Nyembesi said the staff who worked under the "stewardship of Mkhize" are still in the department.

Green-Thomson didn't retain his position after reports emerged that he didn't get along with Nkonyeni.

And Mandla Mathaba, a member of Mkhize's staff who worked in the department for nine years, was shown the door by Nyembesi, who did not renew his contract.