March 3, 2005

The IFP deplores Premier S'bu Ndebele's way of answering parliamentary questions. Yesterday the Premier was asked a question by a DA Member pertaining to the cost of exit settlement package for Professor Charles Dlamini who was recently sacked from the Department of Education.

Instead of answering, the Premier attacked the IFP and his predecessor alleging irregularities in connection with the past departures of Professor Nxumalo, Mr Haydenbrecht, Dannie Joubert, John Martin, Mr Krog, James Scott Lee, Rudi Dartley, Rob Fenis, Eric Ngubane, Sibusiso Ngubane and Bongani Ngubane from the former Premier's staff.

"I wish the Premier would remember his accountability to the people of KwaZulu-Natal when answering questions in the Legislature," said Dr Lionel Mtshali, MPP, leader of the IFP caucus in Provicial Parliament and former KwaZulu-Natal Premier.

The IFP is alarmed by the implications of the Premier's remark when he said that he did not know what was discussed in the parliamentary caucuses of the DA and the IFP. "Not only is the content of these discussions of no concern to the Premier as member of a rival political party, but it is a gross insult aimed at undermining the IFP as a party that led government in the past ten years in this province," said Dr Mtshali.

Dr Mtshali also wished to put the record straight on other matters that emerged from the Premier's rather irrelevant outburst. He said:

"Professor Nxumalo, whose five-year contract expired during my tenure as Premier, had this very contract extended by another year. Mr Haydenbrecht was seconded to the Department of Public Works after restructuring. Dannie Joubert resigned. John Martin, James Scott Lee, Rudi Dartley and Rob Fenis all negotiated their exit settlement packages to avoid relocation to Ulundi.

"Eric Ngubane was not a staff member in the Office of the Premier but was attached to the office of the Director General. Sibusiso Ngubane was personally pleaded with by the Premier to stay on when he was offered a lucrative position elsewhere. Bongani Ngubane was transferred to the Department of Public Works.

"The IFP urges the Premier to answer the questions put to him by the Members of the Provincial Legislature instead of attacking his political opponents and scoring cheap points with the media."

Contact: Dr Lionel Mtshali, 083 256 4902