Phumla Williams finally gets the nod for top government communications position

Phumla Williams had a torrid time under former communications minister Faith Muthambi. File image.
Phumla Williams had a torrid time under former communications minister Faith Muthambi. File image.
Image: Masi Losi

Phumla Williams has been appointed as the director-general of Government Communication and Information Systems.

Williams had been acting on and off in the position since 2012 when then CEO Mzwanele Manyi left.

Her appointment was announced in a statement on Thursday following a cabinet meeting.

Williams has previously spoken painfully about her tenure in her position under the then communications minister Faith Muthambi. During her testimony to the Zondo commission investigating allegations of state capture, Williams spoke of how she was systematically stripped of her powers by Muthambi.

Williams further testified that her treatment had caused her to have panic attacks and reminded her of the time she was detained under apartheid.

She alleged at the time that Muthambi’s intentions were to get access to the GCIS budget.

“She wanted procurement at all costs. She wanted to steal at all cost,” Williams testified.

Williams had also testified that Muthambi had ensured that 70% of staff under her were no longer reporting to her, a move which almost made her position redundant. At the time, Williams had been demoted to her old position as deputy director-general while Donald Liphoko, acted in the position.

“They knew they had removed me from doing cabinet work. They decided that procurement and finance must be removed from this woman,” she said at the time.


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