Pahad in furore over R2m package for consultant

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

R2 million a year - that is what the presidency wanted to pay a consultant who was "not needed in the department".

And that allegedly led to a furore between the head of the office of the Rights of Children, Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, and the minister in the presidency, Essop Pahad, pictured.

Pahad has now approached the labour court to declare Mkhwanazi-Xaluva "an enemy of the state".

"I am not fighting the state, but I am fighting Essop Pahad, who acts like he is the state," Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said yesterday.

She told Sowetanthat "things got worse" when she disagreed with using the services of Pahad's female friend as a consultant at R2 million a year over five years.

"I came to realise that she would even visit Pahad at his house to discuss with him issues of disagreement between us," Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said.

"Pahad would call me into his office and question me about some allegations that this woman made to him."

She said she would oppose a court application by Pahad that she be barred from employment in state organs.

"The state is much bigger than Pahad.

"He is effectively trying to make me unemployable in my own country," Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said.

Pahad's spokesman, Samson Phakwago, was not available for comment yesterday, but according to reports, Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, who has won a case of unfair dismissal, is said to have broken a relationship of trust with all state departments.

She battled against two attempts to dismiss her and won, but after each victory she was not allowed to report for duty.