Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has thrown his weight behind Treasury's Director-General Dondo Mogajane, despite a remedial action by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to have Mogajane disciplined for not disclosing a criminal record in his application for the job.
Mboweni was speaking to journalists at a briefing ahead of the delivery of the budget speech, in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Responding to a question about Mkhwebane's remedial action, Mboweni said he had "full confidence" in the staff at Treasury, including Mogajane, who he said is "very nice" and a "good Christian".
"I think the Public Protector has a problem," he said. Mboweni was not taking a dig at the institution, he added, but Mkhwebane.
"The incumbent is a problem," he said of Mkhwebane.
On December 18, Mkhwebane issued a report titled: "Report on the Investigation of Improper Conduct Regarding Mogajane's Application for the position of Director-General at National Treasury and his subsequent appointment to the same position by the National Treasury".
In the report, Mkhwebane found that Mogajane had failed to disclose a criminal record in his application for the position of director general. The crime was a speeding fine. The Public Protector recommended the president take action against Mogajane for "blatantly and dishonestly" making false representation of material facts in his application, Fin24 previously reported.
However, Mboweni said he was considering this recommendation. "I am taking the matter on review," he said.
He quipped that if he had to take a poll of the journalists in the room, many of them would have speeding fines. He himself had to collect a fine from the SA Post office in Killarney on Tuesday, he said.
Mboweni added that staff at Treasury now refer to Mogajane as "Speedy". "Dondo is fine. He is a good Christian," he reiterated.