Premier’s brother lands top security job

2011-01-22 16:24

An Mpumalanga department has employed Premier David Mabuza’s brother, allegedly with the intention of clamping down on ­information leaks to the ­media and law­enforcement agencies.

Mike Mabuza – formerly a lieutenant-colonel in the South African Police Service’s crime intelligence unit in ­Nelspruit – is now assistant ­director for security management in the ­province’s agriculture, land reform and land administration department.

Mike Mabuza was transferred across ­departments and then started his new job on January 3.

The job was not advertised and questions ­remain unanswered as to how Mabuza came to know about it.

On Friday he refused to shed any light on his new job, saying: “I am not ­prepared to say anything.”

Department spokesperson Janine ­Julies said: “Any official within the public service may ­apply for an internal transfer to any ­department across the country.”

Sources in the department and police told City Press that Mabuza’s appointment was made to curb the leaking of ­documents from the department “to external people”.

Last month, City Press exposed ­damaging details of a forensic audit ­report which showed irregularities in a R230­million tender.

The auditors found that the tender – for the purchase of tractors and farming ­implements for rural communities, as well as the management of the project – had not been budgeted for, neither was it part of the department’s plan when it was awarded to Sizwangendaba ­Investment (Pty) Ltd in September 2008.

David Mabuza was the department’s MEC when the tender was awarded.

The premier’s friend and former business partner, Patrick Chirwa, is a director of Sizwangendaba.

Provincial government spokesperson ­Lebona Mosia declined to comment when asked if the premier had a hand in his brother’s transfer.

“We’ve referred your questions to the ­department, because the premier has nothing to do with human resources ­issues,” ­Mosia said.

An official in the department, who asked not to be named, said: “(Mike) Mabuza was appointed because of his background in crime intelligence.

He has been brought here to monitor and ­ensure that no more documents are leaked.”

The official said that Mabuza’s presence was already being felt.

“The human resources director, Teleni ­Ntabeni, called his staff to a meeting last week and warned them against giving information to the National Intelligence ­Agency, and that they must not question the ­employment of certain individuals.

“The language has suddenly changed since Mabuza arrived; it’s all about ­controlling ­information.

There is a deputy director for ­security management, but we all know that Mabuza is calling the shots even though he is the junior,” the official said.

Julies denied that Mabuza was employed to stop information leaks and that the premier had any influence in his transfer.

“Communication tasks are not part of his job description,” she said.

Julies said that departmental head ­Nelisiwe ­Sithole was responsible for staff ­appointments.

Sithole ran into trouble with former MEC ­Meshack Malinga because he was ­uncomfortable at being ­overlooked on ­departmental matters.


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