UDM leader claims DMV DG up to no good

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United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa, after pointing to problems at the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) five months ago, took to social media in the wake of Director-General Irene Mpolweni’s suspension was made public.

The retired two-star general said in a post: “It appears the DMV DG has been up to no good” adding “has the department gone from bad to worse under her leadership”.

Mpolweni’s suspension was a low-key affair, rating a mention in a Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) statement before labouring on about Department of Defence (DoD) findings by Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke. It was subsequently confirmed by a Ministry of Defence statement which did not give reasons for the suspension, saying it was “precautionary” and would respect “employer/employee confidentiality” by not disclosing allegations or charges “at this stage”.

Holomisa set out allegations including military veterans’ “frustration” at their treatment by DMV personnel and financial waste alongside unpaid education benefits in a – at this stage – seemingly unanswered letter to Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise and her deputy Thabang Makwetla.  He asked the Minister to “address contentions surrounding Mpolweni”, echoing a previous letter of complaint where “suspect precautionary suspension” of four DMV managers and “allegations of impropriety” were raised against the first permanent DMV Director-General in over six years. Mpolweni was preceded by retired three-star SA Army general Derrick Mgwebi who followed Max Ozinsky, also in an acting position.