Feike understands that the Minister of Fisheries is set to remove one of her two so-called "special" advisors, Mr Rams Mabote. The reasons for his dismissal are unknown. The Minister has this year alone suspended her head of fisheries, Sue Middleton, and her DG, Langa Zita.
Although Zita remains on suspension, Middleton is back in her office but apparently still subject to some form of investigation regarding her decision to actually do something to try and get the critically important demersal research cruise to sea. Ultimately, this cruise did not take place and the Marine Stewardship Council which certifies SA hake trawl has noted this as a "red flag". The consequence of Middleton's unwarranted suspension is that senior managers and decision-makers in the fisheries branch have by and large stopped taking any decisions of a controversial nature, lest they too get suspended! It must certainly be a horrible working environment especially when the Minister is so weak that she continuously makes a her own staff the scapegoat for her failures.
The Minister's remaining special advisor is Duncan Hindle, an education specialist that also runs a website, www.theschoolinspector.co.za.
Feike has also been advised that the Minister is under considerable pressure as the Public Protector's report on the R800 million Sekunjalo tender farce is damning. The media is presently also asking some hard questions about the Minister's apparent abuse of funds pertaining to the leasing of a Mercedes Benz that cost taxpayers R600,000.