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MBABANE – Under Secretary (US) in the Deputy Prime Minister’s (DPM) Office Hlobisile Dlamini has been transferred to another ministry.

This, it is expected, will settle stormy waters at the DPM’s Office following a spat between the US and Principal Secretary (PS), Makhosini Mndawe. The quarrel between the two threatened to derail the administrative capacity of the DPM’s Office. So tense was the situation at the DPM’s Office such that Dlamini (US) filed an application in court to prevent the PS from presiding over a disciplinary process that had been instituted against her.  In her court papers, Dlamini alleged that Mndawe’s conduct towards her had led to the work environment at the DPM’s Office being untenable. She alleged that because of Mndawe’s behaviour, she was constantly depressed and dragged herself to work daily. Deputy Prime Minister, Themba Nhlanganiso Masuku, in an interview yesterday afternoon, confirmed that the US had called him to state that she would be leaving. He said she promised to come to him for a formal farewell, but he had been told that the correspondence from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) had arrived at his office on Friday afternoon.


“I can confirm that she would be leaving as per her assertion, and what I am told by officials in my office. However, I would not be in a position to confirm whether she would be going to the Home Affairs Minstry or another government department,” Masuku said. The row between Mndawe and Dlamini is said to have emanated from newspaper headlines to the effect that there had been E10 million fraud at the DPM’s Office. In her court papers, Dlamini cited headlines that read ‘E10 million maladministration: DPM’s Office rocked by fraud scandal’, and ‘E10 million fraud, rot at DPM’s Office’. Dlamini alleged that these articles were published at the instance of Mndawe, in a bid to tarnish her name. She said the articles implied that she was responsible for the alleged fraud of E10 million, further disputing that no fraud ever occurred at the DPM’s Office. Efforts were made to get a comment from the US yesterday afternoon. She was first called around 4:15pm, then again at 5:16pm. The last call was placed to Dlamini’s mobile phone number at 5:53pm.


At the first instance, a female answered the call and said the US was asleep. The receiver was then asked to record this journalist’s mobile phone number so that when the US woke up, she could return the call. However, after a few moments, the line was dropped, unceremoniously. A text message was then sent to the US at 5:16pm. She responded at 5:59, asking how she could be of assistance to this reporter. She was asked to shed light on her purported transfer to the Home Affairs Ministry, Dlamini responded as follows; “Home Affairs? May I refer you to the CSC Chair (Chairman). I’m not aware.” Principal Secretary in the DPM’s Office, Mndawe, confirmed that his office received correspondence from the CSC affirming Dlamini’s transfer to the Ministry of Home Affairs. “I can confirm receipt of the correspondence from the CSC, and the US’s move to Home Affairs. There is nothing else I can add,” he said.

Both Masuku and Mndawe said the correspondence arrived at the DPM’s Office on Friday afternoon. However, the CSC’s Chairman, Simanga Mamba, said all he knew was that there was a request from the principal secretary at the Ministry of Public Service to have some under secretaries transferred. “By nature, under secretaries are senior government officials. It is only the PS at Public Service that can make a request for their transfer. We shall be deliberating on this list today,” he said.

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