The Director General (DG) at the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, Mike Mlengana has been suspended.
His suspension was announced by Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana who said it is with immediate effect. Zokwana, however, did not give reasons why Mlengana was suspended.
The ministry said in a statement:
“The Minister of Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries‚ Mr Senzeni Zokwana has placed his director-general‚ Mr Mike Mlengana on suspension with immediate effect pending internal investigations. The suspension is a precautionary measure and does not in any way constitute a judgment.”
Mike Mlengana was issued with a letter of suspension on Tuesday afternoon. The Ministry of Agriculture is yet to set charges against him. He was earlier issued with a letter of ‘intention to charge to suspend’, to which he responded as required.
In an interview with Farmer’s Weekly earlier today, Mlengana claimed he was suspended due to the culmination of a series of issues, including appointments in connection with government’s hatcheries project that he did not agree with.
The suspended DG was appointed to the position on June 1, 2017, by the Minister ofAgriculture. He told Farmer’s Weekly that the reason he applied for the job was not to promote government’s interest but to serve the masses.
He said he’s ready to fight for what he believed in because “There was a lot of wrongs that I could not live with….”
“The point is very simple – we are all here to serve the public. That to me is the guiding point and why I applied for the job. And now I find myself sitting in oversight committees 99% of the time,” he added.
Mlengana said although he is still on probation, his performance is under investigation.
Meanwhile, the deputy director general for agricultural production‚ health and food safety has been appointed to stand in for Mlengana.