Joemat-Pettersson still on a ‘suspending’ spree

Agricultural minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has caused ructions within her department by suspending two more staff members.

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Selby Bokaba, spokesperson for the department and Ronika Ramanand, private secretary to Joemat-Pettersson, have both been suspended for divulging information to the media without permission. This brings the total number of staff forced out of the department or been suspended to five in the last year. Langa Zita, previously the department’s director-general, was suspended over administrative issues and Rams Mabote, the minister’s advisor, resigned on the basis of constructive dismissal.

Dr Mono Mashaba, deputy director-general of fisheries, has also resigned and will be leaving the department at the end of November. Steve Galane, acting director-general for the agriculture department, said that the spate of suspensions and resignations had nothing to do with in-fighting between staff and Joemat-Pettersson. “We can’t divulge why Bokaba and Ramanand have been suspended until the investigation has been completed. But Mashaba is leaving because he has found a better attraction.”