News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
2 minute read
8 May 2017
3:33 pm

Weather service’s ex-boss paid nine months’ salary after she was fired

Gosebo Mathope

The board terminated the CEO's contract five months before her contract expired and made payments to her in two tranches.

Satellite image of weather Pic: SABC

The portfolio committee on environmental affairs has asked the board of the SA Weather Service (Saws) to provide reasons why individual board members should not be held liable for fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

This after former CEO Linda Makuleni was paid nine months’ salary after the termination of her contract. The board revealed this when it briefed the committee about its strategic plans last week.

The committee was not impressed with this golden handshake and told board members this was fruitless and wasteful expenditure. It also resolved to consequently call upon the board  to provide valid reasons why Parliament should not demand that members of the board of the South African Weather Service pay individually.

The decision to terminate Makuleni’s contract five months before the end of her term was “ill-advised”, the committee said. It was also informed the board has paid the CEO three months’ salary last month in addition to the five months’ salary already paid to her.

A department of water affairs representative on the board angered the committee when he told MPs there were tensions between the committee and the board. Chairperson of the portfolio committee on environmental affairs Phillemon Mapulane took exception to that, saying that information was not contained in the report given to lawmakers.

“The board has no right to be reckless with the money that Parliament has appropriated to the South African Weather Service because that money does not belong to them but to the people of the Republic of South Africa. The board has a right to discipline any of its employees if they are involved in misconduct, and there are due processes to be followed in this regard, but Parliament will not allow willful and reckless decisions which result in fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” said Mapulane.

Saws was given until the end of May 2017 to provide reasons to Parliament.