Former Parliament analyst launched a "personal, vicious attack on me" - director

Cape Town – The working relationship between former Parliament analyst Sean Muller and his supervisor has completely broken down and they would not be able to work together again, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) heard on Thursday.

Director of parliament's budget office (PBO), Mohammed Jahed, was testifying in the case between Muller and Parliament regarding a position Muller feels he was overlooked for.

Former PBO analyst Muller has taken the institution to the CCMA, arguing that he was unfairly overlooked for a promotion to the post of deputy director of economics.

Muller was shortlisted, interviewed and underwent psychometric testing. After a six-month-long recruitment process, the position was offered to Seeraj Mohamed.

Muller said he was not appointed as he refused to perform political favours, including the writing of academic papers for MP's.

These political favours were mostly facilitated by Jahed, Muller alleged, and he was overlooked for the position when he refused to get involved.

No specific promotion policies

One of the outcomes he hopes for in this process would be to get the deputy director job.

But this, Jahed told the CCMA, would be impossible because of the breakdown of the two's relationship.

He said Muller had smeared his name in the media following the appointment process.

"It's unfortunate that the applicant has stooped to this level. I have seen this as a personal, vicious attack on me by a very disgruntled person. I would not be able to re-employ him," he said in response to a question on their working relationship.

Jahed said the attack on him was unfair and unfortunate.

The director reiterated that Muller had not been an alternative candidate for the position and they were not expected to automatically promote him to it.

Because the budget office was fairly new, he said, they did not have specific written policies on promotions, but relied on Parliament's policies.

The matter is due to be finalised on Friday, before a decision is made in about 21 days.

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