De Lille suspends public works DG over state funeral spending

Public works director-general Sam Vukela has been suspended. File photo.
Public works director-general Sam Vukela has been suspended. File photo.

The saga in the public works and infrastructure department continues, with minister Patricia de Lille on Tuesday suspending her director-general, advocate Sam Vukela.

Vukela has been implicated in massive overspending on state funerals and an irregular hiring spree.

In March, President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose prerogative it is to hire and fire directors-general, gave De Lille the go-ahead for the action against Vukela.

“I confirm that on Tuesday July 28, I placed the director-general of the department of public works and infrastructure (DPWI), advocate Sam Vukela, on precautionary suspension - effective as of today, Wednesday July 29 - pending the finalisation of the disciplinary processes instituted against the DG,” De Lille said in a statement.

She says the action follows reports she received into two investigations:

  • a report by PwC which investigated allegations of irregularities related to the provision of moveable infrastructure for official funerals; and
  • a report by the Public Service Commission which investigated allegations of irregular appointments within the senior management service of the department. 

De Lille says an internal disciplinary process that will be chaired by a senior advocate in due course.

“In order to protect the integrity of the process, no further comment will be made to the media until the process has been concluded,” she concluded.

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