Pretoria - Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi has placed the department’s chief financial officer Masilo Makhura and deputy director general administration Linda Shange on precautionary suspension with effect from October 13 pending the finalisation of a formal investigation process, the ministry said on Sunday.
The suspensions were "precautionary measures taken by the ministry and do not in any way constitute a judgement against the two senior officials", the ministry said in a statement.
"As is common course this process is confidential and is a matter between the employer and the employees concerned. As with all such matters the department and ministry will be guided by established legislation and labour practices in this regard."
"The minister hereby confirms that all necessary measures has been put in place to ensure the smooth and efficient running of the department in the absence of the two officials," the ministry said.
According to media reports, Muthambi has decided to suspend certain of the most senior officials "because they do not agree with the direction she wants the department to take and their tough stance on fiscal control".
Opposition parties have reportedly described the move as Muthambi’s "attempt at subverting procurement procedures" in the department.