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De Lille suspends DG Vukela over irregular spending claims on official funerals

Vukela is facing allegations of overspending on official funerals and irregular appointments in the department.

Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Hon Patricia De Lille tabling her department budget vote in Parliament on 10 July 2019. Picture: @DepPublicWorks/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille has suspended her director general Sam Vukela. Vukela is facing allegations of overspending on official funerals and irregular appointments in the department.

De Lille said on Wednesday the director general is suspended immediately, pending a disciplinary hearing.

De Lille said she decided to place Vukela on precautionary suspension after obtaining the go-ahead from President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Director generals can only be suspended by the president, unless he delegates that power to a minister.

De Lille said she relied on two reports, which focused on allegations of irregularities when it comes to spending on state funerals and questionable hiring practices in the department.

There was a public outcry after it emerged the department had spent over R76 million in 2018 on three struggle stalwarts official funerals.

The minister said a senior advocate would be appointed soon to head up the disciplinary process.

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