Zuma’s Photographer Siyasanga Mbambani Suspended: Siyasanga Mbambani is a social documentary photographer and also works as South Africa’s State photographer. She was assigned to cover the presidency by the GCIS.
The IOL reported on Monday that Mbambani has been suspended from her position as an assistant director of media production in the presidential unit of the Government and Communications Information System (GCIS).
According to the local media outlet, the state photographer was suspended on Friday for parading herself before President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa in a skimpy dress and seductive conduct.
Mbambani’s service to the state was put on hold after a long-drawn-out battle with her boss and co-photographer, Elmond Jiyane. Jiyane is also the deputy director of media production in the department.
According to The Times, Jiyane said the suspended worker had allegedly “violated departmental policies by quoting the department on social media without authorisation.”
Defending herself, the 27-year-old photographer, accused her boss Jiyane of harassing and bullying her on several occasions.
Mbambani alleged that Jiyane had severely accused her of flashing her breasts and ‘full bums’ at Zuma and Ramaphosa while taking pictures of them during official events.
She said Jiyane once accused her during a departmental meeting in Pretoria of “grabbing President Zuma closer” when both [Zuma and Mbambani] took selfies at a post-State of the Nation address cocktail party in 2015 in Cape Town.
But an embittered Mbambani denied grabbing Zuma closer, stating that it was the president who had asked to take a picture with her. She said she views Jiyane accusations “as sexist, emotional and sexual harassment”.
In a flurry of email exchanges with Jiyane and correspondence to senior management, Mbambani reportedly ‘misbehaved’ in Port Elizabeth, where the president was addressing the International Women’s Day on August 3, 2015, and in Lesotho, during one of Ramaphosa’s peace mission round-trips.
OL reported that in an email correspondence which Independent Media has seen, Jiyane stated that he would give her [Mbambani] protocol training after he “got feedback” that she had addressed a deputy minister on a first name basis during interaction on social media.
Although no one knows who is right between the two, Mbambani alleged that Jiyane made the allegations against her because of the power tussle between them over who covers Zuma’s events.
Jiyane denied attacking Mbambani, saying the allegations are “manufactured lies”.