DMV DG now suspended for a year

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A year after the suspension of Director General Irene Mpolweni, the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) still has an interim, in the form of a retired SA Navy (SAN) Chief, in the position.

Mpolweni is one of four directors general singled out by Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow public enterprises minister, Mimmy Gondwe, as costing South African taxpayers over R10 million to “languish at home”.

Mosiwe Hlongwane is not the first senior retired SA National Defence Force (SANDF) officer to be parachuted into the hot seat at the Hatfield, Pretoria, DMV headquarters. Mpolweni was director general from April 2021 until her suspension in March 2023. She replaced retired three-star army general Derrick Mgwebi, appointed as acting/interim director general when Max Ozinsky, also an acting/interim appointment exited.

The senior public service employees in the departments of Public Enterprises, International Relations and Co-operation and Public Works and Infrastructure join Mpolweni on Gondwe’s list.

The DA public representative notes all the suspensions relate to misconduct with Mpolweni on the receiving end of her call for President Cyril Ramaphosa to finalise her ongoing disciplinary for the “sake of South Africa’s over-burdened taxpayers”.

Not in Gondwe’s sights, because her predecessor exited voluntarily, is Acting Secretary for Defence, Thobekile Gamede. She has been the acting accounting officer for Minster Thandi Modise’s Department of Defence (DoD) since the December 2022 departure of Gladys Kudjoe. In April 2023, Thabo Mmutle, who sits on both Parliament’s defence oversight committees, was told “completion and upgrading of job profiles the senior vacant positions in the DoD – Secretary for Defence and Chief Financial Officer – will be posted”. This after Modise’s then spokesman Cornelius Monamana indicated the process to find a permanent replacement for Gamede was “in motion”.