Too late to rectify appointment - protector

2013-04-24 21:15
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela (Picture: Beeld)

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela (Picture: Beeld)

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Pretoria - It is too late to rectify the irregular appointment of the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board's CEO, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Wednesday.

"I've determined therefore that Mr Z should never have been appointed. However, with regard to remedial action, I have only sought to fix the future as the past is too far gone," she told reporters in Pretoria.

"The appointment [of the CEO] should be deemed condoned."

Madonsela investigated whether Mabutho Zwane's appointment as CEO was improper, whether he met the minimum requirements for the post, and whether the board appointed him in line with the requirements of the Gambling and Betting Act.

"The allegation that Mr Zwane's appointment was improper has been substantiated. The board's appointment of Mr Zwane constitutes improper conduct and an act of maladministration," Madonsela said in her finding.

Madonsela found Zwane should never have been appointed as he was the domestic partner of a person working for the state at the time of his appointment. He failed to disclose this and, had he done so, he would have been disqualified.

Madonsela said the fact that the board did not consult with the relevant MEC about Zwane's appointment amounted to non-compliance, was improper, and constituted maladministration.

Another allegation, that Zwane did not meet the minimum requirements for the post, was without merit.

The matter revolved around an act of the gambling board, whether or not a CEO could be regarded as a member of the board, and whether he or she was subject to all ethical standards required by board members.

"Despite the board's... protests, my finding is that a CEO who is an ex-officio member of a board, is a member of the board and therefore subject to all ethical standards for board members."

Madonsela said section six of the Gambling and Betting Act dealt with board members appointed by a "responsible member", while a CEO was a member by virtue of his position.

"Nothing in the act seems to distinguish his position from other board members," she said.

The protector recommended steps be taken to ensure procedures and legal prescripts were complied with for future appointments. She wanted to have an implementation plan within 30 days.

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