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clash about pensions - again
, Daily News
August 4, 2003
South Africa -
National Minister of Welfare Zola Skweyiya and his KwaZulu-Natal
counterpart Gideon Zulu have squared up for yet another bitter turf war
after allegations that the latter was using his portfolio for political
The fresh row between the two comes after pensioners in Newcastle claimed
their grants had not been renewed because they did not attend an IFP
According to weekend reports, hundreds of pensioners from the area said
they were barred from presenting their case before an appeal board, which
was in the town last week, because they did not show up at an Inkatha
Freedom Party rally at Newcastle's Madadeni Stadium.
Skweyiya has reportedly decided to send a team to investigate the
allegations, much to the chagrin of Zulu, who claimed Skweyiya should have
"The minister is very
disturbed about these allegations because Skweyiya has raised it through
the media without informing the minister (Zulu)," said Zulu's
spokesperson S'phiwe Maphumulo on Sunday night.
Maphumulo said Zulu had
expressed unhappiness at the fact that a decision had been taken to send
the team to the province without him being consulted.
"The minister has made it
clear that even if they have decided to take a decision without informing
him, he will continue with his job as mandated by the constitution. He is
aware that there are elections coming up."
He said Zulu had since written
a letter to Skweyiya voicing his concerns.
"We have since requested
that the team should also include people from the province and that there
should be no parachuting," he said.
Referring to the allegations
that Zulu was using his portfolio as political bait, Maphumulo said that
was "cheap politicking".
He said Zulu had always
separated his party political work from government work and his conscience
Maphumulo said the pensioners
were barred from attending the appeal board meeting at Newcastle because
the minister wanted to deal with people with whom he had made prior
arrangement, and not on the basis of their party political affiliation.
Earlier this year Zulu and
Skweyiya were again at each others' throats after Skweyiya accused Zulu of
stalling a massive project aimed at giving indigent families temporary
The bold initiative, in which
150 000 South Africans were identified as beneficiaries, hit a snag in the
province because of non-co-operation between the two.
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