President Cyril Ramaphosa has removed Public Works Minister Patricia De Lille’s powers to discipline suspended Director-General in her Department Sam Vukela. He has transferred the duty to Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu.

Vukela’s application to interdict his scheduled disciplinary inquiry instituted by De Lille was due to be heard in court, but has now been struck off the roll after the Presidency, in an affidavit, stated that De Lille’s mandate has been delegated to Mthembu after Ramaphosa considered Vukela’s application.

Vukela has been implicated in allegations of irregular payments with regards to the planning of state funerals. He has been investigated by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Public Service Commission following various allegations of irregularities.

He has hit back at De Lille claiming she gave him unlawful instructions that he refused to follow with regards to the Beitbridge Border Fence project.

Patricia De Lille briefs Parliament’s Public Works Committee on the investigation into the Beitbridge border fence: 

Acting Presidential Spokesperson Tyrone Seale says the president was concerned that there was a disagreement between the parties that could delay claims against Vukela.

“The fact that there is disagreement, the president was concerned the fact that there is a disagreement between the parties that could delay us in getting to the claims against the Director General. So, the president has chosen a way of expediting that discovery by removing this mandate to the Minister in the Presidency.”