South Africa: Thami Ka Plaatjie, Sisulu's Chief Water Adviser, Puts Himself On Indefinite Leave After Being Caught Influence-Peddling

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Minister of Human Settlements, Water & Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu also backtracks on disbanding a rapid response team she has accused of enrichment.

The government's chief water adviser, Thami ka Plaatjie, who has been caught on tape trying to cut himself and other department bureaucrats into water tanker contracts, is still employed, but has told Daily Maverick that he is on indefinite study leave.

City Press revealed that Ka Plaatjie, who has zero engineering or water expertise, was exposed in a recording discussing how he and colleagues could divvy up water tanker contracts. Water tankers are big business as corruption has stalled water provision and Covid-19 has placed greater urgency on getting emergency connections to rural areas so that people can wash their hands.

"The special leave that I have requested has no time limit. I am also catching up on my studies," said Ka Plaatjie via the department's spokesperson. Ka Plaatjie claims he is not being paid on his contract, which is likely worth over R1-million a year. City Press reports Ka Plaatije says on the tape: "I had wanted that we sit down and check how many we can bring and consolidate (water tankers) so that we can...

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