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READ FULL STATEMENT: Siphokazi Ndudane breaks silence to set record straight

Dec 5, 2019
READ FULL STATEMENT: Siphokazi Ndudane breaks silence to set record straight

East London - Siphokazi Ndudane, whose appointment as HOD of the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) in the Eastern Cape by Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, has attracted mixed public feelings on Thursday released a statement in which she sought to set the record straight.

Mabuyane was criticised for apparently appointing Ndudane to the top post at DRDAR despite her reportedly being found guilty on serious allegations including the alleged theft of three tons of Abalone worth around R7 million. 

The Premier's office said that they were working to get to the bottom of the matter

Still, Ndudane decided to release a statement to 'set the record straight' following the controversy surrounding her appointment.

"One man should not be allowed to bully dedicated civil servant employees and destroy their careers simply because he regards himself as powerful and enjoys protection from the people who should be calling him to order," Ndudane wrote.

"In this statement I seek to separate facts from fiction. 

"I have endured more than 2 years of harassment and being hounded by the DG of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. I was caught up in his battle with the previous Minister, Senzeni Zokwana, as he perceived me and may others in the department to have been close to the Minister.

"There have been many instances of victimisation of employees in particular those who stood in the way of the DG during his reign of terror. It is public knowledge that soon after I was appointed he approached me in a manner that was clearly improper and corrupt and made it clear that he wanted to benefit."

Ndudane alleged that whistle blowers have been victimised in the department and "the DG has disregarded executive instructions and went on to deal with those he perceived to be against his agenda.

"This was not limited to senior employees such as myself but also to service providers. Case in point is his refusal to pay service providers simply because he thought they were close to previous Minister Zokwana- again this is public record as it is part of the High Court litigation between BXI Attorneys and DAFF."

She went on to say that given "the isolation, persecution, the charges against me and the manner they were crafted it became clear for me that the DG wanted me out by all means necessary and that he had a vendetta against me more because in the litigation against the service providers I provided factual affidavits where facts concerned me and my role."

Ndudane said that she could no longer "stand idle when the court needed the truth and on matters I had personal knowledge of simply because the DG did not want such truth to be revealed.

"I am a civil servant not a politician, I have no political agenda. As a result I resigned and offered an explanation as to the reason for my resignation at the department. My resignation was at the end of October and November was my 1 month notice period."

Read the full statement HERE.

She added that her legal advisors advised her that her resignation is tantamount to constructive dismissal "given the persecution I endured. This will be laid bare in the legal action I intend to initiate in the next few days. 

"Immediately after I had resigned, I could no longer afford to enlist my legal team in preparation of a disciplinary hearing which was initially scheduled for February 2020. True to the abuse and malicious intent against me, the disciplinary hearing despite it having been scheduled for February 2020 and despite the fact that I had resigned and was serving my 1 month notice, it was hastily brought forward.

"I no longer had a legal team, I was going through stress and depression owing to everything that had been happening regarding my treatment. It became clear to me that the disciplinary hearing was designed for a particular outcome which is the dismissal now being circulated around."

Ndudane argues that there was no reason for the DG to insist on the hearing which must have cost the department hundreds of thousands 4 days prior to my exit.

"There was no listening to my side of the story as I was ill and submitted a medical certificate which was ignored. I had no legal representation despite the department being represented by the State Attorney. I could not call witnesses nor have time or access to the witnesses I would have called if the hearing were to run properly."

Read the full statement HERE.

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