Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has been accused of letting a man alleged to be in a relationship with her call the shots within her department despite not working there.
City Press reported on Sunday that Mokonyane has given Luvo Makasi the power to call the shots in her department –- and has even gone as far as giving orders to her director general.
The paper quoted senior department officials and contractors who confirmed how Makasi has been attending senior management meetings, "arrogantly" dishing out instructions and "ordering us around".
Makasi is a director of a Cape Town law firm and was recently appointed chairperson of the Central Energy Fund.
It is alleged that two weeks ago, Mokonyane and Makasi met Mashitisho, Mkhize, legal adviser and advocate Moss Mphaga and special adviser Moema at African Pride Irene Country Lodge.
An associate of Mokonyane said: "It was shocking. I have never heard of anything like this before. Makasi was issuing instructions to Gorbachev and Mkhize. He treated the most senior officials in the department as his juniors."
A contractor told City Press this week that he was called by Zandile Mathe, the department's infrastructure deputy director general, and Moema, asking him to meet Makasi "for a discussion".
"They came to me, Zandile and Thele. They said: 'Please meet up with the guy so that your things can go well.' I told them to f**k off. That is when our problems with the department began. As it is, we are owed more than tens of millions of rands," he said.
An executive in the department privy to the details said: "Zandile literally begged him to meet Makasi, but he flatly refused. Makasi is said to have approached Polokwane Mayor Thembi Nkadimeng wanting to dictate to her who should get tenders.
"But Nkadimeng would have none of it," the official said.
Department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau denied that Makasi calls the shots. He said Mokonyane knows Makasi and has a political and professional relationship with him.
"Mr Makasi is not an employee of the department and, as such, has no role nor authority in departmental matters or those of entities under the department. The minister is the executive authority of the department and continues to personally exercise all her responsibilities, in line with the Constitution."