Mpumalanga Premier, Refilwe Mtshweni has suspended the province’s education department head, Mahlasedi Mhlabane, on allegations of maladministration.
Mtsweni’s office did not divulge the details surrounding the allegations but confirmed that Mhlabane was suspended regarding funds which are not clear how they were used.
Mhlabane was suspended last weekend while Mtsweni was on a state visit to Russia.
“We will not say much at this stage other than to confirm that indeed the HOD has been suspended pending an investigation into the allegations relating to the allocation of funds, which upon enquiry, it was not clear how they had been utilized,” said spokesperson of the Mpumalanga premier’s office Zibonele Mncwango.
Mncwango insisted that they don’t want to comment much as the issue is still an allegation and didn’t not say when there will be a hearing.
“We would like to respond that way and remember these are allegations so as the investigation continue we will then have much to say later,” said Mncwango.
According to sources within the department of education and contractors the allegations are surrounding the multi-million rands school feeding scheme of the province.
The dependent is also embroiled in civil suits amounted to over R100 million where contractors have taken the department to court over cancellation of their contracts before time.
“We decided to take the department to court because we had a three year contract as companies to supply the school feeding scheme. But all of a sudden last year we were told that our contracts have been stopped and we were replaced by companies that didn’t even go to bid for the job. It’s clear they removed our companies to replace them with companies owned by their friends,” said one contractor who didn’t want to be named for fear of victimisation.