Minister Lindiwe Sisulu loses patience with board

Johannesburg – Housing Development Agency interim board chairperson and acting chief executive officer Mikki Xayiya has allegedly defied Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s instructions to fire one of the agency’s top executives.

Xayiya, the owner of Mvelaphanda, allegedly failed to carry out Sisulu’s orders to fire the chief financial officer, Brian Mosehla, and to appoint Steven Poya as his replacement.

The instruction ordered that Xayiya release Mosehla from his contract effective February 1.

Part of Sisulu’s instructions, according to the letter seen by Sunday World, dated January 30, also included that Xayiya be replaced as acting CEO by current chief operations officer Steven Poya and that Xayiya should remain as interim board chairperson of the housing agency’s interim board.

However, those close to the minister and the board revealed that none of the instructions was implemented.

Instead, Xayiya has allegedly lobbied board members to defy the minister’s instructions. Sources close to the ministry have revealed that Sisulu was now contemplating dissolving the interim board should it continue to ignore her recommendations.

The housing developments agency’s interim board was appointed in August last year after the minister fired the full-time board because of allegations of corruption levelled against the entity.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – 29 November 2010: Mikki Xayiya, executive chairman of Mvelaphanda Group, talks to Jorge Ferreira, CEO of Mvelaserve on 29 November 2010 on the occasion of Mvelaserve’s JSE listing. (Photo by Gallo Images/Business Day/Martin Rhodes)

Sisulu’s spokesperson, Steven Motale, confirmed that the HDA interim board had asked that the minister allow Mosehla to finish the term of his contract.

He said that other recommendations by the minister would be implemented by the board. “The board has not defied the minister. The board met on Wednesday … a unanimous resolution was taken that all the minister’s recommendations will be implemented,” said Motale.

But those close to the minister said Sisulu had not accepted the recommendation by the board and Mosehla was being kept at the agency against her instructions.

The minister had given the board until, January 31 to implement her changes. Xayiya read but did not to respond to questions sent to him on Monday.

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