Public Enterprises Responds to Suspended DG’s Behavior

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department of public enterprises suspended dg

The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has expressed concerns over the recent behavior of its suspended Director-General (DG), Kgathatso Tlhakudi. Rather than allowing due process to take place, Tlhakudi has created a misinformed public perception, which is especially concerning given his role as a senior public servant.

Baseless Claims and Allegations

Tlhakudi’s suspension in June 2022 resulted from allegations of misconduct, and internal processes are currently investigating these claims. However, Tlhakudi has chosen to tarnish the reputation of the DPE, its staff, and Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, by making baseless allegations of interference and manipulation in the sale of South African Airways (SAA) to the Takatso Consortium.

Minister Gordhan Denies Allegations

Minister Gordhan vehemently denies these accusations, stating that they are false and a ploy to avoid accountability. He emphasizes the Department’s commitment to stabilizing state-owned enterprises, exposing corruption, and creating a stable framework through which these organizations can fulfill their developmental mandates.

Unacceptable Behavior and Disciplinary Action

In light of Tlhakudi’s conduct, the Department notes his behavior is unbecoming of someone entrusted with safeguarding public interest and adhering to established norms and standards. Following his suspension, a disciplinary process, overseen by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, was instituted and is still ongoing.

Upholding Standards for Public Servants

Directors-General possess significant responsibilities, as they are appointed by the President of the Republic and recommended by the Cabinet. They must demonstrate personal competence, technical capability, and ethical and professional conduct while overseeing the allocation of billions of rands of public funds. The DG of the DPE also provides recommendations on key policy directives for the management of state-owned enterprises, essential public assets.

Misleading Portrayal and Lack of Evidence

Since his suspension, Tlhakudi has embarked on a media campaign to paint himself as a victim opposing the SAA-Takatso transaction. This portrayal is misleading. During his tenure, Tlhakudi was a major proponent of the deal. As DG, he served as the primary point of contact for the consortium and authorized the due diligence process evaluating the Takatso bid. His claims of ministerial interference in the bidding process and suspension due to opposition to supposed irregularities are unfounded.

Despite reiterating these allegations in recent television interviews, Tlhakudi has yet to provide convincing factual evidence to support his claims. His conduct seems to be that of a disgruntled employee unwilling to account for alleged abuses of his position.

Protecting the Public Trust

The DPE has refrained from responding publicly to Tlhakudi out of respect for the rule of law and due legal process. However, his actions have become untenable, and the Department is determined to prevent the public’s trust from being jeopardized by deceitful campaigns designed to undermine its work. The Department urges the media to uphold journalistic ethics and not give credence to baseless claims without objective, verifiable evidence.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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