The Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Rapelang Mojaphoko, has denied reports that the former Director of the Department of Meteorological Services, Phetsolo Phage, was pushed out of office.
Mojaphoko said that Phage had accordingly tendered in his retirement letter and asked to be allowed to serve a three months notice but that he was advised by his employers that he would be paid in lieu of serving his three months’ notice.
She was not able to explain why such a decision was taken, only saying that “the Permanent Secretary would be in a better position to answer that one”. Despite this, she still maintained that he was not pushed out.
Two senior forecasters, John Stegling and Radithupa Radithupa, have also retired from the Department. Unlike Phage, who was not allowed to serve notice as he had requested, the two officers had served their three months’ notice.
Radithupa said that he left on his own as he qualified to do so after reaching 45 years under the New Public Servants act. He declined to say where he was heading.
”I am going to pursue other interests that are close to my heart. I might go into farming,” he quipped.
Radithupa and Stegling were amongst the first batch of weather forecasters to present weather reports of the country on national television.
Attempts to get comments from the other two meteorologists were futile.