Labour official in hot water

LABOUR Minister Membathisi Mdladlana has ordered his director-general, Jimmy Manyi, to apologise to Parliament.

This happened after DA MP Ian Ollis produced an embarrassing leaked email during Mdladlana's budget vote speech on Tuesday evening.

The email reveals that Manyi asked the Treasury for an extra billion rands for the department this year, and only afterwards put pressure on his staff to come up with budgets for the money.

Manyi's email read: "Colleagues, as you all know I have asked for R1 billion from the fiscus as of 1 April 2010. I need to have a detailed requirement list by 12:00 on Tuesday (23 March) to send to Parliament."

The Labour Department underspent by R50million last year, and had to return this money to the Treasury.

Despite this, Manyi still asked for an extra billion rands and then afterwards urged his staff to come up with budgets for things they did not need.

Ollis said it was unacceptable for Manyi to ask for money if he had no idea how it was going to be spent.

Mdladlana is reportedly furious and has accused Manyi of embarrassing him during his high-profile moment.

Mdladlana's spokesperson, Mzobanzi Jikazana, confirmed that the minister had told Manyi to apologise to Parliament's labour committee.

Ollis said it was unacceptable for Manyi to ask for money if he had no idea how it was going to be spent.

He also wondered why Manyi had asked for R1billion but instructed staff to come up with budgets for only R900million.

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