When will Zuma fill these posts?

2013-02-17 10:00

Civil servants jokingly refer to Pretoria as Hollywood these days – because of all the acting appointees heading key government institutions.

President Jacob Zuma announced in his state of the nation address on Thursday night that “all vacant posts at the upper echelons of the criminal justice system” will be filled to boost the fight against corruption.

Zuma was referring to the heads of the National Prosecuting ­Authority (NPA), Special Investigating Unit (SIU), crime intelligence division and State Security Agency (SSA).

He didn’t, however, commit to a time period.

All these units, as well as the heads of domestic and foreign ­intelligence, who report to the SSA head, have been rudderless for months.

Zuma must confirm all these appointments.

He has been ­criticised for not filling these posts, although they have been ­vacant for hundreds of days.

» At the NPA, Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba has been acting as national director of Public Prosecutions since the removal of her predecessor, Menzi Simelane, in December 2011.

The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled Simelane was unfit for the position – a judgment confirmed by the Constitutional Court last year.

Under Jiba, the NPA has run out of money (travel budgets have been cut and an internship programme for law graduates was canned). She has also been under fire for the suspension of anti-corruption prosecutor ­Glynnis Breytenbach.

» The SIU has been without a permanent boss since December 2011, after now retired Judge Willem Heath resigned after 17 days in ­office. Zuma appointed Heath in place of Advocate Willie Hofmeyr, who is also a deputy head of the NPA.

Heath blamed then president Thabo Mbeki for initiating the rape and corruption charges against Zuma in an interview with City Press.

Under pressure to retract his statements, Heath quit.

He was replaced by Jiba for a few days until Zuma replaced her with Advocate Nomvula Mokhatla, ­also a deputy NPA head, to act as SIU boss.

The SIU has been in constant running battles with trade union Nehawu over the appointment of senior staff.

Under Mokhatla, the unit also cancelled its arrangement with audit firms to have ­auditors seconded to the unit for fixed periods of time.

» Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli, head of the crime intelligence unit, was suspended for a ­second time last year by then ­acting police chief Nhlanhla ­Mkhwanazi.

This was after Mdluli was ­implicated in a Hawks probe into allegations of large-scale looting of a secret crime intelligence slush fund.

Major-General Chris Ngcobo, a former bodyguard of Zuma’s, has been acting as head of the embattled unit.

» The SSA, which replaced the former National Intelligence Agency and SA Secret Service as the super spy agency, has been without leaders for months

Wanted - Key vacancies in the criminal justice

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