Muthambi flouted public service regulations while minister of public service – report

2019-03-06 21:26
Faith Muthambi. (Esa Alexander, Gallo Images, The Times, file)

Faith Muthambi. (Esa Alexander, Gallo Images, The Times, file)

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ANC MP Faith Muthambi flouted several public service regulations by making irregular appointments and ordering salary hikes for officials, among other transgressions, while she was minister of public service and administration, a report by the Public Service Commission (PSC) found. 

DA MP Désirée van der Walt asked Muthambi's successor as minister of public service and administration Ayanda Dlodlo on Wednesday whether she had proposed any amendments to the ministerial handbook to Cabinet that is currently under review since her appointment to the position on February 27, 2018.

"Yes, a lot of work has happened with regards to the ministerial handbook," Dlodlo said. 

She said President Cyril Ramaphosa had returned the proposed amendments and asked that she incorporate the work her department is currently doing with regards to the restructuring of government. In her follow-up question, Van der Walt asked whether Muthambi's transgressions were taken into consideration. 

"We need action and I'm sure you would agree that this cannot be allowed," Van der Walt said.

Dlodlo said the new ministerial handbook would clearly state how a MEC, minister or deputy minister should appoint their staff.

"It also talks about the number of individuals that can be appointed and over how long a period," Dlodlo said.

She said the proposed amendment says the term of three years for officials in a minister's office should fall away and be linked to the minister's term of office. 

Van der Walt then asked: "But can the honourable minister be very specific. Did she make any recommendations based on the transgressions of her predecessor?"

"The responsibility to take any action against a member of Parliament is not the responsibility of the minister of public service and administration," Dlodlo said.

Muthambi was appointed minister of public service and administration by former president Jacob Zuma on April 1, 2017, after a troubled term as minister of communications which coincided with Hlaudi Motsoeneng's reign as chief operations officer of the SABC.  

The PSC found that she, in contravention of public service regulations, appointed people who did not have the requisite qualifications, she appointed some staff for three years when the regulations only allowed appointments of one year and irregularly awarded higher salaries to staff members.

Van der Walt laid the complaint against Muthambi with the PSC in February last year, shortly before Ramaphosa fired her from Cabinet. Parliament's ad hoc committee that investigated the SABC board found that Muthambi was "incompetent" as communications minister and also asked Parliament's legal services to investigate whether she misled the committee.

Legal services found her testimony before the committee "could be seen as an attempt to mislead the inquiry".

Muthambi is an ANC national executive committee member.

Read more on:    ayanda dlodlo  |  faith muthambi
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