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News

Government officials must abide by code of conduct: minister’s advisor

The special advisor to Minister of Public Service and Administration Ngoako Ramatlhodi has laid down the principles that govern conduct of officials following a rant by Lumka Oliphant‚ spokesperson for Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

Mahlodi Muofhe agreed that he had seen Oliphant’s comments but declined to get into the merits of the matter.

“Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi as the custodian of public service and administration expects public servants to conduct themselves in a manner that will not compromise the integrity of the public service. We are governed by the Public Service Act and the code of ethics which implore public servants to apply the principles of Batho Pele in any given circumstances‚” he said.

Oliphant went on a rant on Facebook in an expletive-fuelled defence of her minister‚ Bathabile Dlamini‚ whom The Citizen had reported looked “unsteady on her feet” at a recent event.

“Anyone of you who wish to use this post for your articles‚ go the f*** ahead! Yes‚ the f*** ahead‚” she wrote on Facebook.

The rants relate to reports about how Dlamini’s behaviour at an event in Germiston left people “wondering if she was drunk”.

But Muofhe warned against subjecting Oliphant to a public hearing as officials of government were also covered by the country’s labour laws. He said individual departments had built in disciplinary processes which had to be followed when there were allegations against any official.

“Public servants are also covered by the Labour Relations Act. It would be improper for anyone to conduct any hearing in the public domain…The principles of fairness demand that the disciplinary process should not be conducted in the public space‚” Muofhe said.

The Public Service Commission declined to speak to TMG Digital and referred the matter to the Department of Public Service and Administration.