The Director of Public Service Management (DPSM), Pearl Matome, cleared her desk and vacated office without serving notice ÔÇô touching off speculation that she may have been pushed out.
Government would not disclose reasons for the sudden termination of Matome’s employment.
Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Lesego Motsumi, told The Sunday Standard that, “Yes, I am aware that she has tendered a retirement letter, and I have only just seen the letter in my mail tray.”
Motsumi would not be drawn into discussing circumstances surrounding Matome’s sudden departure.
Matome confirmed that she had retired, but would not discuss details.
It is understood that Matome was summoned by the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), Eric Molale, and Motsumi, to the minister’s office on Thursday 18th February 2010.
The Sunday Standard is informed that after intense exchanges, the trio allegedly could not reach an agreement on certain unspecified issues and subsequent to that, the former Director reportedly tendered the resignation or retirement letter to the PSP’s office and accordingly relayed to Motsumi’s desk as per the Minister’s admission.
Motsumi, however, insists that, Matome’s departure was not orchestrated by either her office or the PSP, adding that, “she left of her own volition, without any pressure to go.”
Festinah Bakwena, former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications, was immediately appointed Director, DPSM, a position she previously held. Mabua Mabua was then promoted to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications.
Commenting on Matome’s sudden departure, National Organizing Secretary, National Amalgamated Local and Central Government and Parastatal Workers Union (NALCPWU), Johnson Motshwarakgole, said, “It baffles the mind that a person of such high responsibility would just be ejected like she never mattered.”
Moreover, she was charged with the overseeing of the unionization process which entailed setting up relevant structures in preparation for the ultimate realization of the bargaining and consultative structures, as well as the merging of public service establishment.
“So as far as things stand, this has all the hallmarks of a dismissal, which naturally verges on very subhuman and unfair labour practice,” criticized Motshwarakgole, adding that, if it were anything close to a resignation or retirement, there would be no need for such haste when she was, in fact, dealing with such a mammoth task of transforming the civil service into a unionized workforce.