DoD provides little clarity on dispute with former staff


A group of former Department of Defence (DoD) staff are going the legal route to complain about their positions being terminated following last year’s change of defence ministers, and as such the DoD cannot provide further information on the matter.

In a statement by DoD Head of Communication Siphiwe Dlamini, the Department said it was aware of allegations by members who claim to have been “booted out” of their jobs. “The Department can confirm that these members have received letters of which contents are between the employer and employee. Since the matter has taken a legal route we cannot comment any further until the process has been followed to the fullest and concluded.”

A group of nine employees at the Department of Defence and Military Veterans plan to head to court over their “unfair dismissal” following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle in August 2021 that saw former defence and military veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula replaced by Thandi Modise.

The staffers told SAfm that they included a head of administration, chief of staff and spokesperson, and were permanently employed by the DoD but seconded to the Ministry of Defence. When a minister is reshuffled or resigns, it is normal for them to vacate office. However, they allege that because they were permanently employed by the DoD, they were supposed to be moved to other positions.

They were placed on special leave in October last year and in March informed that their services would be terminated that month. A representative of the group told SAfm that their positions were found to be irregular and subsequently terminated. There apparently was little engagement between the group and the DoD, and now legal proceedings will result.