KZN premier allays DA fears
THE office of KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize has rejected a Democratic Alliance claim that the director-general of health Thami Mseleku - who will soon resign from the position - is heading the province as its new director-general.
Mkhize's spokesperson, Ndabezinhle Sibiya, said the speculation was false.
"It is not true that he (Mseleku) is coming to serve in the office of the premier.
"It is just a rumour. People are making up stories."
Mseleku confirmed that he would leave the department at the end of the month, three months before his five-year contract runs out, but did not say that he would be appointed director-general in KwaZulu-Natal.
Sibiya was reacting after DA caucus leader John Steenhuisen challenged "Premier Zweli Mkhize to urgently and unequivocally dispel rumours that Mseleku is heading for appointment in a position in the KZN government".
Steenhuisen said the situation in the province - particularly the high incidence of HIV - was too dire to take a chance on appointing Mseleku to the key position.
The DA caucus leader said under former health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, Mseleku "sympathised with and defendedthe infamous and discredited Matthias Rath of the Rath Foundation and his so-called Aids vitamins".
Steenhuisen said Mseleku was being touted to fill the void left by former director-general Kwazi Mbanjwa, who is now with the department of transport.
He said Mseleku had publicly exonerated Rath from any wrongdoing before a Medicine Controls Council investigation and went as far as to secure the release of an impounded shipment of the "vitamin pills for distribution by Rath to unwittingly exploited Aids sufferers".
The DA caucus leader said Mseleku had had bitterly acrimonious relationships with Aids non-governmental organisations such as the Treatment Action Campaign and the Aids Law Project.
"During his tenure Mseleku regularly courted controversy," Steenhuisen said.