KZN social development head defies Zikalala's order to step aside amid probes
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Nokuthula Khanyile, head of KZN Department of Social Development, has allegedly defied an order by premier Sihle Zikalala to step aside while parallel investigations into her conduct were under way.
Zikalala recently summoned the department’s top brass to head office in Pietermaritzburg and announced that Khanyile would be redeployed to the KZN AgriBusiness Development Agency as acting chief executive.
However, Mack Makhathini, spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development denied Khanyile would be joining the department. He said MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi was not aware of plans.
This week, workers in Khanyile’s office said it had been business as usual for her as she attended meetings and signed off on important documents throughout the week. She appeared unfazed and maintained she had not received a letter instructing her to vacate her office.
Last week, the Sunday Tribune reported that Khanyile’s offices were raided by the Hawks. Cellphones, laptops, tablets and various files were confiscated.
Khanyile faces allegations of kleptocracy, self-enrichment, misleading performance management information, of encouraging flawed supply chain management processes and intimidation of service providers and officials. These were brought forward in an anonymous report to the Hawks.
An internal investigation by officials is set to probe allegations of financial mismanagement and corruption.
But workers said the internal investigation into irregularities was a waste of resources and an act to buy time. They claimed Zikalala instituted an inquiry but the outcome was not shared. Some who testified at the inquiry alleged their identities were revealed to Khanyile and have since been victimised.
Lennox Mabaso, head of communications of the Premier’s office, could not be reached for comment. Khanyile’s office said she was not available.