DG under fire for snubbing oversight body
THE director-general (DG) of the Water and Sanitation Department, Dan Mashitisho, may have landed himself in hot water for missing a meeting of the portfolio committee that has oversight over the department.
This emerged when the department’s delegation led by its Deputy Minister, Pam Tshwete, was sent packing from a meeting it attended without Mashitisho.
And it came hot on the heels of his unsatisfactory performance when he and the department were recently quizzed by the standing committee on public accounts over their finances.
Yesterday’s meeting was scheduled to consider governance issues with regard to the Western Cape-based Overberg Water Board, which had failed to table its budget and annual report.
Also under consideration was the KwaZulu-Natal-based Mhlathuze Water Board, formerly led by current SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni, which was dissolved in April by an order of the Pietermaritzburg High Court amid legal action over the suspension of its chief executive.
The committee did not take kindly to Mashitisho’s apology, in which he notified members he was attending an “urgent” meeting involving the Sedibeng Water Board.
The reports that Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, who is on sick leave, had ordered the DG to be at the portfolio committee meeting made matters worse for him.
Committee members unanimously rejected his apology.
“We need the DG to be present… I’m concerned about the number of apologies we are getting and where things are being left to others to answer on his behalf,” the DA’s Tarnia Baker said.
The ANC’s Thomas Makondo echoed Baker’s sentiments, saying the DG was always unavailable for meetings at which matters for which he was accountable needed to be discussed.
The ANC’s Derick Mnguni said it was clear that Matshishito did not take the portfolio committee seriously by choosing to prioritise people he was not reporting to.
“This is tantamount to ill-discipline. I request that we take cognisance of this.
“When he comes here, he must explain himself. We need to take this matter further,” Mnguni added.
Committee chairperson Mlungisi Johnson said Mashitisho had called him in the meeting on his need to be excused.