Mkhwebane probes Minister Thulas Nxesi over jobs for pals allegations - report

2019-11-10 17:52
Public Protector, advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Getty Images)

Public Protector, advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Getty Images)

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is investigating a senior cabinet minister amid allegations that he irregularly appointed 18 political allies to government jobs, including five women said to be in romantic affairs with him, the Sunday Times has reported.  

The allegations were levelled against Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi by a former staff member. 

Nxesi acknowledged the investigation, which is laid out in a 10-page letter this week, according to the Sunday Times.

Mkhwebane informed Nxesi, who is also the national deputy chair of the SACP, that she is investigating allegations of "irregular appointments, nepotism and irregular procurement". 

"According to the document, Nxesi - a former public works minister - hired Clive Mtshisa as the department of public works' deputy director-general of corporate services, which comes with a minimum annual package of R1.5m, 'in order to manage the deployment of SACP members'," the weekly publication reported.  

The document further states that Mtshisa was deployed to ensure that tenders were awarded to service providers with links to the SACP, the publication states.  

Mtshisa is a former deputy chair of Sadtu in Gauteng.

"According to the anonymous complaint filed in March this year, Mtshisa and other senior figures at public works went on to appoint 17 top SACP members and Nxesi allies to senior managerial positions such as deputy directors-general, chief directors (who earn R1.2m a year) and directors of supply chain management, a departmental division in charge of dishing out multi-million-rand tenders," the Sunday Times said.  

The appointments were reportedly not advertised. 

In her letter to Nxesi, Mkhwebane also states that she is investigating Nxesi for allegedly promoting and appointing at least five female staff members to senior positions in Cape Town, the Eastern Cape and Pretoria "after they provided sexual favours to you". 

However, in a statement issued on Saturday, the SACP condemned allegations of wrongdoing regarding the investigation into Nxesi, News24 reported.

The party said it "strongly denounces the malicious and baseless allegations manufactured to implicate it in alleged wrongdoing and dismisses such allegations with the contempt they deserve".

"It does not take rocket science to see what game is being played through such allegations," it said.

The document also states that the appointments were not advertised, and in some cases proper internal processes were not followed.

"This is a direct response to the allegations contained in a correspondence circulating on digital messenger platforms, purported to have been sent to comrade Thulas Nxesi, SACP Deputy National Chairperson, in his capacity as the Minister, by the incumbent Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, and to the inquiries about it."

In the statement, the SACP said that those implicated had already responded to these allegations, and shared an article published in the Daily Maverick.

Compiled by Jeanette Chabalala

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