KZN Zikalala

KZN Premier Premier Sihle Zikalala / Image via Twitter: Premier Sihle Zikalala

Nepotism in KZN: Zikalala under pressure to sack underqualified official

IFP claims that appointments of underqualified officials have crippled the public sector.

KZN Zikalala

KZN Premier Premier Sihle Zikalala / Image via Twitter: Premier Sihle Zikalala

The pressure is building on KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala to reverse the appointment of a senior official at the Road Transport Inspectorate (RTI) and launch an investigation into her appointment.

Soon after Ntomboxolo Thafeni was inserted as the acting commander of the Pietermaritzburg region of the RTI recently, allegations emerged that she was underqualified.

The controversy surrounding Thafeni’s appointment was thrust into the public spotlight by the Sunday Tribune newspaper, on Sunday 12 July.

According to the newspaper, not only was Thafeni allegedly under-qualified but there were also claims of favoritism and mismanagement attached to her.

Thafeni did not have the required three-year diploma in traffic management, for her to act in any senior position within the department, the paper reported, quoting a senior member at RTI.     


Infuriated, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) added its voice on the calls for Thafeni’s appointment to be reversed.

In a statement, IFP’s spokesperson for transport, Steven Moodley said: “The appointment of Thafeni must be stopped immediately. We challenge the KZN MEC for Transport, Bheki Ntuli, to explain why he is hell-bent and forging ahead with the appointment of Thafeni, even though she allegedly doesn’t have the required qualifications.”

Moodley called for premier Zikalala’s intervention on the matter.   

“We urge the premier (Zikalala) to summon the KZN MEC of transport (Ntuli) in order for him to come clean as to how the under-qualified official was appointed. It is the duty of the premier to show bold leadership by holding his cabinet MECs accountable,” said the IFP’s Moodley.


Moodley said that failure to summon MEC Ntuli would prove that the premier Zikalala supported nepotism and the appointment of underqualified officials.

“He must immediately issue a directive to stop the appointment of this official until the investigation is concluded,” said Moodley.

Moodley said no one could afford to “bury their heads in the sand” over societal problems including appointments of under-qualified officials, arguing that this affected staff morale at the workplaces, particularly in the public sector.


Moodley said his party, the IFP will pursue this matter by submitting written parliamentary questions seeking answers from the KZN provincial government.

Thafeni flatly declined to comment on the matter, while premier’s spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso directed queries to the department of transport.

Kwanele Ncalane, spokesperson for the department of transport, could not be reached on his cellphone.