Energy department appoints controversial director general | Fin24
In partnership with

Energy department appoints controversial director general

Oct 08 2015 16:14

Cape Town – The Department of Energy appointed Thabane Zulu as its new director general (DG) on October 1, it announced on Thursday.

Zulu moves from the Department of Human Settlements, where he was DG from 2009.

He comes with “immeasurable experience as an astute civil servant”, according to the department.

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said his appointment will “bolster efforts in South Africa’s quest of entrenching an energy mix paradigm for radical economic transformation and harnessing energy access for all”.

He takes over from Dr Wolsey Barnard, who has “steered the ship” as acting DG, the department said.

Zulu holds a BAdmin (Hons) degree from the University of the Western Cape and an MBA from the Management College of Southern Africa.

As the head of KwaZulu-Natal’s Department of Social Development, he was tasked with transforming the department to make it more accountable and aligned with departmental objectives, according to the GCIS.

“The province saw the importance of professionalism, effective administration, accountability and performance driven administration in the systems employed within a rule-based environment,” it said.

He does not come without controversy.

In 2012, a “mysterious R1.4m was deposited into his personal account”, the Sunday Independent reported.

“The Sunday Independent traced the amount from a black economic empowerment company that stands to benefit from the multibillion contract awarded in January by the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) – a unit of the Social Development Department – to Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to dispense social grants,” it reported.

Zulu denied any wrongdoing.

In 2007, the Sunday Tribune reported that Zulu crashed his Range Rover in Pietermaritzburg while trying to escape a suspicious car with blue lights that was tailing him, according to his lawyer.

"When police arrived, they found a badly injured Zulu and a sum of cash in the boot. The amount was never disclosed, but previous reports put it at R47 000," the paper said. "That money was mine. It wasn't stolen or received irregularly. I don't have to account for it," the paper quoted Zulu at the time.

"Zulu was one of Robben Island's youngest prisoners when he was jailed at the age of 19. He served time with Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale," the Tribune said.

Zulu was the uMsunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) municipal manager for two years from 2004. In August 2006, the Scorpions raided the municipality, including Zulu's office, but he was never prosecuted. He said he was innocent.



Company Snapshot

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

Do small independent businesses stand a chance against big corporates in SA?

Previous results · Suggest a vote