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Paul Ngobeni’s job as legal adviser to Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu hangs in the balance.
Sisulu suspended him without pay for 30 days with immediate effect on Monday after an internal investigation she ordered in the wake of his open letter responding to Planning Minister Trevor Manuel’s public attack on cabinet spokesman Jimmy Manyi.
On his return to work, Ngobeni must submit written reasons to Sisulu why he should not be released from his duties as her legal adviser, a ministry statement said.
Ngobeni was unaware of his suspension when the Cape Times approached him for his response on Monday.
“I’m hearing this for the first time from you. I can’t comment on something I don’t know about,” he said.
Ministry spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya told the Cape Times that the letter of suspension was sent to Ngobeni’s lawyers.
Sisulu ordered the internal probe after Ngobeni’s letter to Manuel was published on March 6. In it, he tore into Manuel, accusing him of targeting Manyi in “a gangster-like fashion”, and suggested that President Jacob Zuma remove him from the cabinet for his “unconstitutional actions and political grandstanding”.
Ngobeni’s suspension follows his apologising “for the embarrassment the letter may have caused to … President Jacob Zuma and the minister”, and which he had written in his “personal capacity”.
Sisulu distanced herself from the letter yesterday. “The minister and the Ministry … would want to confirm that they are not part of this public encounter and have never been consulted or informed of the letter,” the statement said.
“The minister distances herself from the open letter and all its contents and wishes to reconfirm that the open letter in no way represents her views.”
Ngobeni entered the fray after comments by Manyi, when still director-general of labour, that coloured people were in over-supply” in the Western Cape were re-published, unleashing a race row.
His suspension was welcomed by opposition parties.
“He (Ngobeni) is reportedly a fugitive from justice in the US and is being investigated by the Public Protector,” said DA spokesman on defence, David Maynier MP. - Political Bureau
Ignoring the rest of the shenanigans for a while - how can ANYONE with a modicum of intelligence appoint a fugitive from justice to a position such as this? Ignore the facts surrounding our president - how was he appointed? I accept we do continue to keep in the ranks of government servants and members of parliament those whose chances of finding employment in the private sector would be severely restricted by their nefarious past. But to appoint another one!!!! We are already the laughing stock of the civilised world - working hard to become the joke of Africa along with Mugabe. Viva indeed
Trevor for president!
A letter sent to his lawyers? He claims to be a lawyer, albeit a disbarred one on the run from the United States of America. Who's the gangster now? As for Sisulu hiring him in the first place, what an absolute disgrace. No she distances herself and the Ministry of Defence from the letter written by her employee. What a joke. What's next? To hire Colonel Gaddafi as a military adviser when he gets kicked out of Libya?
Its about time these goons get what they deserve , publicly torturing public figures and fighting amongst themselves within the cabinet they need to be thought that they cannot have their own ways because they work in the Gov they are a disgrace to the SA citizen.They should be setting an example to our youngsters but instead they act like animals in the zoo
Paul was disbarred as an attornery in the US due to malpractice. No wonder he qualified for a job in the ANC government. At this rate, he'll propably run for president one day.
And the ANC in fighting continues while ordinary South Africans are just getting on with there jobs of keeping the economy going. What absolute childlike behaviour from our 'leaders.'As the DA spokesperson CORRECTLY reported in IOL yesterday, the ANC is at war with itself. NOW.... lets wait for the racist responses
Has Lindiwe Sisulu not read this? She ought to have prior to employing him ..... http:www.bailcobailbonds.comfugitives14
And he now gets to go on holiday while we taxpayers PAY for it, while the poor anc supporting masses continue to suffer in poverty. wow.