Telecoms DG Rosey Sekese suspended for 60 days

Gareth van Zyl

Johannesburg - Minister Siyabonga Cwele has suspended the Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services' Director-General Rosey Sekese for two months.

The move to suspend Sekese comes amid an independent probe being launched into leadership problems at the ministry.

Sekese’s suspension also comes amid reports which have claimed she is purging the department of key staff who oppose her.

Last month, Deputy Director General (DDG) Sam Vilakazi resigned after Sekese fired two other DDGs Themba Phiri and Gift Buthelezi. Sekese reportedly sent Buthelezi a notification of his dismissal via SMS.

Opposition political party the Democratic Alliance (DA) has in turn raised concerns that a leadership exodus at the ministry could impact on the likes of a government broadband roll-out project.

Subsequently, Minister Cwele’s office said earlier this week that he was giving Sekese 72 hours to explain why she should not be suspended.

“The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele has received written representations from Director-General Rosey Sekese submitting reasons why the Minister should not place her on precautionary suspension,” said Cwele’s office in a statement.

“After considering the reasons and applying his mind, Minister Cwele has decided to place the Director-General on precautionary suspension for a period of 60 days while the Public Service Commission conducts its independent inquiry.

“The decision is merely a precautionary step and is not a punishment and the Director-General will be on full pay during this period,” the ministry added.

In the meantime, the ministry has appointed appointed Tinyiko Ngobeni as the acting director-general.

Leadership problems at the ministry have emerged just a year after it was created.

Following the end of the 2014 general elections, President Jacob Zuma split the former Department of Communications in two to create the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services.