Limpopo speaker-in-waiting to be sworn in despite Public Protector’s probe

2015-08-31 12:21
Speaker of the Provincial Legislature Merriam Ramadwa was recalled by the ANC

Speaker of the Provincial Legislature Merriam Ramadwa was recalled by the ANC

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The new Limpopo provincial legislature speaker may take office tomorrow with a Public Protector probe into allegations of nepotism hanging over her head.

Polly Boshielo’s name was cited several times in Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recent report on the troubled Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.

Among complaints lodged, Madonsela’s office was asked to investigate whether Prasa had improperly appointed Boshielo as executive manager: business development at Prasa subsidiary Autopax Passenger Services in 2010, while her husband Bushy Boshielo served on its board.

Complainants sought to suggest the possibility that the decision to employ Boshielo could have been influenced by her husband.

Meanwhile, Boshielo is at the centre of an ongoing factional battle in the ANC in Limpopo after the party named her as the next speaker.

She was brought back from Cape Town where she had been an ANC member of Parliament and was sworn in as a member of the Limpopo legislature.

This followed an announcement by the ANC that it was going to recall Merriam Ramadwa as a speaker in what has been widely interpreted as purging of those from an opposing camp as trends of factional politics re-emerged in the province.

After more than two months of trying to boot out Ramadwa, the axe finally fell when the ANC caucus – on a mandate from the provincial party heavyweights – successfully passed a motion to remove the speaker last week.

Ramadwa had remained defiant and refused to resign from the position as ordered by the ANC. The party had recently served her with a letter of suspension and once again ordered her to abandon her position. She didn’t comply, and was eventually removed through legislature processes.

To ensure smooth sailing, the ANC members of the legislature have reportedly been mandated to make sure they attend tomorrow’s sitting, in which they will nominate and vote for Boshielo as the new speaker.

As she starts her new responsibilities, the former chief director of transport in Limpopo will be waiting for Madonsela’s findings in her case.

“I have deferred my finding on the alleged nepotism regarding the appointment of Boshielo [because] Prasa has failed to provide the selection and appointment memoranda and some of the relevant documents,” Madonsela said in her report.

She said the former chief executive of Prasa, Lucky Montana, gave her two versions when asked to explain Boshielo’s appointment.

“In its initial response Montana stated on behalf of Prasa that Boshielo was appointed on April 6 2010 through a headhunting process. Later, in response to the provisional findings, Mr Montana turned around to state that the submission was a mistake as Boshielo was appointed through a recruitment and selection process and was selected from among other candidates but repeatedly failed to honour requests to provide the recruitment and selection documents to substantiate the assertion,” Madonsela said.

Boshielo declined to comment on the matter when contacted by City Press.

Read more on:    prasa  |  thuli madonsela  |  limpopo

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