Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi File picture: Immah Ncube

DURBAN - Minister of Energy, Mmamoloko Kubayi, has suspended two government officials in an attempt to clean up her department 

At a energy portfolio committee meeting at Parliament, the Minister confirmed that deputy director-general (DDG) Ompi Aphane and chief financial officer Yvonne Chetty were suspended. 

DDG Aphane was given three days to reply as to why he should not be suspended and he did get back to them. 

The Minister did not want to disclose the reasons for Aphane's suspension, but rather wait until the internal process is over, according to Fin24.

Reportedly, on May 19, Chetty was sent a precautionary suspension notice over payments made to Empire Technology regarding a contract that was valued at R 171 million. 

According to the Mail and Guardian there were problems with the contract due to it not being gone out on tender, but rather the government going with Empire Technology who had an existing tender.  

Also read: Confusion over suspension of Central Energy Fund board

Chetty suspension was in line with the Public Service Act said the the Minister and that the process  started and she hoped that the processs would complete soon

In both cases the Minister has said that she is not call the two parties gulity but is rather is waiting for the CFO to answer for Chetty and let the in house procedure complete in Aphane's case.

Gordan McKay, the DA committee member said that it seemed that Aphane was involved in a storage contract related to the solar water heater programme by the department. 

Kubayi admitted that they have high vacancies, three DDGs were interviewed yesterday. She says that they started the process at the end of July and checked on it by the end of August.

Earlier this month the Minister wrote letters to the Central Energy Fund expressing her concerns about the roles being played by the fund's directors. the reason behind the letters have not been disclosed as yet, the Mail and Guardian said.