HR head fired after threatening Auditor-General

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Tsakani Maluleke, Auditor-General.
Tsakani Maluleke, Auditor-General.
Gallo Images/Darren Stewart
  • The head of human resources in the office of the Auditor-General South Africa has been fired after he threatened Auditor-General (AG) Tsakani Maluleke.
  • A disciplinary process found Mlungisi Mabaso guilty of gross misconduct and gross dishonesty, among other charges.
  • Apart from the threats against the AG, it was also discovered that he failed to disclose his previous employment with Aurecon South Africa, and that Aurecon opened a criminal case against him. 
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The head of human resources in the office of the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) has been fired after he threatened Auditor-General (AG) Tsakani Maluleke.

A disciplinary process found Mlungisi Mabaso guilty of gross misconduct and gross dishonesty, among other charges.

Following a rebuke by Maluleke earlier this year, Mabaso scheduled a meeting with her in June and threatened her, warning that he could cause her harm, according to AGSA.

He presented Maluleke with a document of eight allegations against her and then went on to say that they needed to talk about a "separation" package for him, as he wanted to leave the AG's office.

AGSA appointed legal firm Bowmans to investigate the allegations, much of which focused on Maluleke's time as deputy AG, from 2014 to 2020 – until former AG Kimi Makwetu died, and she took over. The allegations involved payments to Makwetu, as well as alleged irregularities with appointments. The investigation cleared Maluleke, and recommended disciplinary action against Mabaso.

He was charged with gross misconduct, as well as for attempting to extort an unauthorised gratification from the AG in exchange for not disclosing the allegations. He was also charged for violating his suspension conditions by sending a letter to several staff members without authorisation.

In addition, Mabaso was charged with gross dishonesty as it emerged that he failed to disclose his previous employment with engineering firm Aurecon South Africa, as head of human capital.

"Mr Mabaso also failed to disclose that Aurecon had instituted a claim for damages in the Labour Court and opened a criminal case against him," the AGSA said.

Last week, Mabaso walked out of an independent disciplinary inquiry into his conduct, after the chairperson denied his request for a postponement. The inquiry took place in his absence, and he was found guilty of all charges, and recommended his dismissal.

"We have undertaken a very painful process which has taken a toll on the AGSA and its reputation," said deputy AG Vonani Chauke.

"The dismissal of the CPO [chief people office] has not been taken lightly, and the findings against him are very serious. However, we hope this brings this matter to an end and we can now focus on executing our constitutional mandate." 


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