3 employees claim to be interim leader of Inspector General's office

2016-11-08 21:20
Charles Nqakula (Netwerk24)

Charles Nqakula (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – The interviews for the position of Inspector General (IG) of Intelligence have provided a glimpse into an office in disarray.

The post has been vacant for almost two years and Parliament's intelligence committee is conducting interviews, for the third time, to find a suitable candidate.

A number of current employees of the IG's office are vying for the post and were on Tuesday grilled on operations at the office. 

The candidates were questioned on their processes and decision-making, as well as who led the office in the absence of an Inspector General.

The heads of departments took "collective leadership", the committee heard.

Candidates Advocate Jay Govender, Mampogoane Nchabeleng and Smanga Jele each told the committee that they had taken up the leadership role in the office.

Chairing meetings

Govender told the committee that while legislation did not allow for a deputy Inspector General, she had been at the helm by virtue of being the legal advisor at the office.

She had assumed some of the functions of the Inspector General, she said, although this was not without its challenges.

As legal advisor she was responsible for looking at annual performance plans and strategic documents.

She called and chaired all the executive committee (Exco) meetings on a monthly basis, she said.

"The IG used to chair the meetings, and I would in her absence. I continued to do the same on a two-weekly basis," she said.

She called staff meetings on a monthly basis as well, she said.

"So that is what I meant when I said I assumed responsibility," she said.

This did not impress the MPs.

Taking turns

Committee chairperson Charles Nqakula questioned the legality of the processes at the office while there was no Inspector General.

"Are you saying that you simply insinuated yourself into that position?" he asked her.

"No sir, we have an Exco and we dealt with decisions collectively. But like I said, there were certain things that I used to do when the IG was there, which I continued to do," she replied.

But Govender was not the only candidate who claimed to be leading the office.

Nchabeleng told the committee he was also in charge in the absence of the Inspector General.

They took turns running meetings, he said, and took collective leadership in meetings.

"So you all just appoint yourselves as leaders?" Nqakula asked Nchabeleng.

Incomplete reports

Jele also told the committee that they took collective leadership as Exco and have not appointed anyone to act as that could only be done by the Inspector General.

"The decision we took as senior management was that as the Exco, we need to take collective responsibility in terms of the day-to-day running of the office in the absence of an Inspector General," he said.

Jele said the matter was discussed at length at the office. 

ANC MP JJ Skosana also questioned the leadership roles at the office.

"It seems you are all just giving yourselves acting positions here and there," he said. 

Committee chairperson Nqakula asked Govender to provide documentation of the meetings so the committee could determine the legality of the decisions taken. 

The candidates told the committee of the challenges they faced in trying to keep the office running.

These included not being able to officially complete investigative reports as they had to be signed off by the Inspector General.

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