Eastern Cape public works head and MEC clash

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

The ANC in the Eastern Cape is set to intervene in a squabble between public works MEC Christian Martin and the head of department, Thami Maneli, who was suspended late last month.

Jason Lloyd, a spokesman for Martin, last month said in a press statement that Maneli had been suspended with immediate effect for an alleged breach of the public service code of conduct.

Sources in the Bhisho legislature said Maneli apparently defied Martin's instruction to appoint an official in a position she felt the official was not qualified for within the department.

It is said the deteriorating working relationship between the two eventually resulted in Martin suspending Maneli.

ANC provincial secretary Siphatho Handi yesterday said they had received correspondence from Maneli regarding her suspension.

"We have received correspondence from her, but we have referred it to the Premier Nosimo Balindlela," said Handi.

"It includes a letter of appeal which she says she has not received any response to after she submitted it."

He added that the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) was still waiting for a report from Balindlela, who is also a PEC member.

Balindlela is to report back to the PEC at its next meeting in two weeks time.

Handi was unable to say what steps would be taken by the PEC. But he indicated that the PEC's action would depend on the contents of the report to be tabled by Balindlela.

Asked what had led to Maneli's suspension, Handi said it was because of "a bad relationship between him and Martin".

"In her explanation, she [Maneli] told us that she and the MEC did not agree on certain procedures that had to be followed when dealing with a departmental issue," said Handi.

Handi would not go into details of the alleged spat between the MEC and Maneli.

Public works portfolio committee chairman Pemmy Majodina said they had received a letter of grievances from Maneli.

Majodina said her committee was going to wait for the matter to be completed because it was still sub judice at this stage.