Sowetan LIVE 07 June 2020

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is facing legal action from two former members of her national rapid response task team who want her to retract disparaging comments they believe she made about them.

Mogomotsi Mogodiri and Lekgotla Dichoetlise, who were removed from the NRRTT last week Friday, have sent Sisulu a lawyer’s letter demanding she apologise and retract the comments.

The minister announced last week that the two had been relieved of their duties after a breakdown in the relationship between them and the department of water & sanitation.

Sisulu said of the two that, “the ethics of these individuals are unlike mine. They have broken every ethic available for officials to uphold in the public service. I will not allow rogue elements to operate under my watch.”

In a statement — dated June 4 — from the lawyer of the two men, the pair say that their dignity has been violated and that injury has been caused to their names.

“We hold under instruction of the clients to issue a letter of demand for the retraction and apology by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu within 24 hours of which was not done and appeared not to do so in a matter of defiance,” the letter reads.

The pair are also concerned about their safety after one of them received a call from a man who claimed to be from the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation. When they enquired about the man who made the call, the DPCI said he was not one of their employees.

“My clients have expressed their concern for their safety as it appears that, on the one hand the ministry of human settlements, water and sanitation is issuing defamatory if not disparaging statements against them whilst receiving suspicious calls as the one described above. The clients expressed further concern after the DPCI confirmed that no person by the name of Ledwaba was employed within their ranks as all the unsavoury developments described above have placed their safety at risk.

“Given that the minister of human settlements, water and sanitation has not acknowledged nor acted in accordance with our client’s demand for a retraction and apology, our clients have instructed that a claim of financial compensation be instituted against the minister and the associated ministry in order to restore the good names of Mogodiri and Dichoelitse that were besmirched by the false and uncontested allegations and claims attributed to the minister/ministry of human settlements, water and sanitation. Should the minister not accede to our clients’ demand within the next 14 days, we are under instruction to approach the court in order to obtain alternative recourse.”

Last week City press reported that the pair were allegedly captured in a video recording with the chairperson of the NRRTT, Thami ka Plaatjie, seemingly speaking about getting in on contracts involving water tankers which the department would be dispatching as part of emergency relief measures.

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