Agriculture director general Mike Mlengana has been suspended due to “governance-related issues”‚ he said.
But Mlengana said he has yet to be informed what exactly the charges against him are.
“They haven’t charged me‚ so I want to hear from them what are the charges‚” Mlengana told TimesLIVE on Thursday.
The agriculture ministry announced on Wednesday that Mlengana had been suspended with immediate effect‚ about a year after he was appointed to great applause.
A statement from the ministry did not disclose specific reasons for the suspension.
An acting director general has been appointed.
But AgriSA on Thursday expressed concern about the gap that will be left by Mlengana’s departure‚ saying that it was important to have a permanent DG in light of the prevailing drought and bird flu outbreak.
AgriSA president Johannes Möller said Mlengana had told him on Tuesday that he was headed for a meeting with Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana to “discuss some issues that they have”.
“From our point of view‚ whatever it is‚ we hope that the minister and the DG resolve the issues as soon as possible‚ so we can give serious consideration to the issues that agriculture has‚” Möller told TimesLIVE.
“About 25% of the country still has a serious drought and we need the department to work at full capacity to give immediate attention to that crisis … it’s really a bad time for the department to be without a DG.”
Source: TMG Digital.