Lungisa Fuzile File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/Independent Media
Cape Town – Lungisa Fuzile ended his term as director general (DG) of the National Treasury (NT) on Monday after being asked to be released from his duties a year before his contract ends.

In a statement, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba extended his appreciation to Fuzile for his service to the country. "Director-General Fuzile is a model public servant who has devoted 19 years to the service of our country," Gigaba said.

"He leaves behind a legacy of a strong National Treasury that has a formidable team as well as a strong institutional framework that will carry forward the mandate of the department."

The treasury said Fuzile had ensured a smooth handover to Gigaba and his deputy Sfiso Buthelezi following their appointment in March. Fuzile joined the treasury in 1998 and was appointed director general in 2011.

Dondo Mogajane, the deputy director general responsible for the public finance division, will act as director-general before a new DG is appointed.

"He [Mogajane] joined the National Treasury in 1999 and he has worked in various areas including, among others, the Intergovernmental Relations, Provincial Budget Analysis and International Economic Relations divisions. Between 2007 and 2010, he represented South Africa at the Executive Board of the World Bank as senior advisor for Africa Group 1 countries."

Last week, Treasury said the shortlisting of candidates to replace Fuzile had been finalised and interviews were expected to commence shortly.

More than 30 people applied for the position after it was advertised on April 28. Fuzile’s contract was meant to end in May 2017, but shortly before the axing of former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, he asked for a redetermination of this contract.

It had been extended for a two-year term in 2016, after Gordhan returned to National Treasury.

The pair had a close working relationship, with Gordhan often commenting that South Africa was fortunate to have such a competent, committed head of the key department. Fuzile last week told ANA that he planned to devote a few months to his farm in the Eastern Cape before taking up a new job.