Pule called out in DG performance dispute

The National Assembly’s communications committee has asked Communications Minister Dina Pule to look into her director general’s performance agreement.

The committee reached a consensus that DG Rosey Sekese “misled” the committee regarding the signing of her performance agreement for 2012/13, committee chairman Sikhumbuzo “Eric” Kholwane said on Wednesday.

“The committee reached the decision after seeking legal advice from Parliament’s legal counsel,” he said.

Last month, the DG told the committee she had a performance agreement for 2012/2013 and repeated her assertion in a recent committee meeting.

During deliberations, committee members asked for evidence of the signed performance agreement for 2012/2013.

Two documents were provided and were circulated among committee members.

After studying the two contracts, Kholwane said they were found to be “two unidentical documents which did not have signatures of both parties”.

“Therefore, they do not constitute a performance agreement.”

According to legal counsel, there was no contract between the DG and the minister.

“The DG is said to have had prior knowledge that her contract had not been finalised based on the letter that she [Sekese] had written to the minister to follow up on the finalisation of her performance agreement for 2012/2013.

“The committee acted on the recommendation provided by legal counsel to refer the matter back to the minister to deal with and act upon… and accordingly the minister will report to the committee on her course of action,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Cape Times reported that during a committee meeting on Tuesday, MPs expressed their anger at having been “misled by Sekese”.

It emerged there were two contracts, one signed only by Pule and the other drafted and signed only by Sekese.

Sekese had tried to convince the committee that she had a contract, referring to legal advice from a senior counsel on its validity.

“I did seek advice and legal opinion just to check whether my interpretation was correct or not. I received verbal advice and legal opinion from senior counsel.

“He stated that when two parties have signed two separate documents, according to the Law of Contracts there is a contract in place,” Sekese reportedly said.

However, Parliament’s legal adviser Charmaine van der Merwe, disputed this claims, and said there was no performance agreement because a “meeting of two minds” or consensus had not been reached between Pule and Sekese in signing the same document.

“There must be consensus before you have a contract. Even if documents are identical, you still don’t have a contract,” Van der Merwe said.

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Pule called out in DG performance dispute