Public Protector Reports Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula Overpaid 3 Advisors

Public Protector Reports Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula Overpaid 3 Advisors

  • The office of the Public Protector found that Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula did not follow procedure when he appointed three advisors
  • In a report released by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, she found that Mbalula had significantly overpaid the advisors
  • Mkhwebane tasked Mbalula and deputy-general director Alec Moemi with retrieving the money, indicated as 'overpayments'

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released a report on Wednesday implicating Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula in irregularly appointing three advisors without approval and overpaying them.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhewebane, Fikile Mbalula, overpaid salaries
In a briefing on Wednesday, the Public Protector revealed that Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula overpaid the salaries of three advisors. Image: Phill Magkoe & Daveid Harrison/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Mkhwebane's report on Mbalula was part of 16 other reports her office released. The reports were in relation to public procurement, staff recruitment and selection, the management of ratepayers' funds by a number of municipalities and the plight of whistleblowers, according to News24.

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The Public Protector revealed in a briefing that investigations into Mbalula had been undertaken in response to a complaint lodged on 5 August last year by a group called 'Anonymous Concerned Members of Staff'.

Mkhwebane stated that Mbalula and director-general Alec Moemi irregularly appointed L Venkile, K Khoza, B Mpondo and Ms T Mpondo in contravention of provisions of the Public Service Act and other departmental policies, according to TimesLIVE.

“The investigation revealed that the appointments of Venkile, Khoza and Mpondo were contrary to the provisions of the Public Service Act and other prescripts applicable to the department,” said Mkhwebane.

The report also revealed that Venkile and Khoza were paid salaries equivalent to those of a deputy-director general and their appointments were not approved by the Minister of Public Service and Administration Senzo Mchunu. They paid salaries ranging between R1.5 million to R1.7 million annually.

According to News24, Mbalula, Venkile and Moemi have committed to repaying the money indicated as overpayments as per the Public Protector's remedial actions.

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Mkhwebane also urged Mbalula to ensure that he submits proposals and recommendations for future special advisor appointments to Mchunu.

"He must also see to it that all future contracts of employment, performance agreements and security clearance of special advisers are submitted to the Minister of Public Service and Administration for record purposes as required by the dispensation policy,” said Mkhwebane.

Jacob Zuma Foundation responds to ConCourt, denounces judgment

Briefly News recently reported that the Jacob Zuma Foundation came out with a statement on Wednesday evening, denouncing the judgement handed out by the ConCourt. This comes after the court ruled Jacob Zuma was guilty of contempt of court and sentenced the former president to 15 months in prison.

In January, Zuma was ordered by the Constitutional Court to appear before the State Capture Commission of Inquiry and give testimony, which he failed to do on numerous occasions. According to IOL, the commission approached the Constitutional Court to find him in contempt of court.

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In their statement, the Jacob Zuma Foundation stated that they were still studying the judgement and seeking legal advice, according to News24. They did not indicate whether or not Zuma would be handing himself over to the police as instructed.

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