Sunday, April 3, 2011

Minister's Daughter Not Qualified for Job

The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) has been rocked by internal turmoil - with top management lodging grievances against their boss and questions being raised about the appointment of a cabinet minister's "inexperienced" 25-year-old daughter as chief financial officer. 

Apr 3, 2011 

The Sunday Times can reveal that at least five senior managers, including two provincial heads, have complained to the Public Service Commission and Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa.
Allegations of victimisation and abuse of power have been levelled against former ANC MP and ICD executive director Francois Beukman. 

Other allegations centre on irregular appointments and strained relations between Beukman and his top management, threatening the work of the unit tasked to investigate complaints against the police. 

Members of staff who spoke to the Sunday Times on condition of anonymity also queried the appointment of Minister of State Security Siyabonga Cwele's daughter, Lindokuhle, who has limited experience. Cwele joined the department in December last year. 

"How is it possible that (Cwele), who has two years' experience, managed to beat a lady (who applied) who is a director at the national Treasury, who knows her stuff?" said an insider. 

It has also been learnt that Beukman was investigated last year by a committee headed by former deputy minister of police Fikile Mbalula over allegations that he had "irregularly appointed" his office manager, Ilse Pretorius. 

It is alleged that Beukman had personally brought Pretorius's CV and had insisted to the interviewing panel that she be considered for the position. She was subsequently appointed, despite scoring lower than another candidate, according to an insider. 

Beukman is also accused of undermining his senior managers by appointing their subordinates to act in his absence. 

The Sunday Times understands that, among the complainants, are suspended Northern Cape head Dan Morema, Eastern Cape head Sakhele Poswa, head of investigations Tommy Tshabalala and general manager for information management and research Noluthando Sihlezane. 

Police ministry spokesman Zweli Mnisi told the Sunday Times that the committee headed by Mbalula - now Minister of Sport and Recreation - had finished its probe and had handed its report to Mthethwa in January. 

"After reviewing the findings ... Mthethwa requested the ... Department of Justice to take the matter forward and look into whether a formal disciplinary process should be instituted," said Mnisi, adding that Justice Director-General Nonkululeko Sindane was working with the Department of Public Service on the matter. 

Mnisi said Mthethwa was concerned about the turmoil in the ICD, as it could disrupt the functioning of the oversight body. 

But an ICD staffer questioned the time that had lapsed since the report was given to Mthethwa.
"(Beukman) is a politician ... they are protecting him. The suspicion is that the (political principals) want this thing to drag on until (Beukman's) five-year term has expired," said the staffer. 

Beukman suggested that the complaints against him were motivated by anxiety over impending changes in his directorate. 

"Change in any organisation is a tremendous process ... the (Independent Police Investigative Directorate) bill will affect mostly the senior management group," he said. 

"The nine provincial heads' positions must be advertised so that there can be competition, and 50% of those must be women. Currently there is only one woman in Gauteng."
He refused to answer questions about Cwele's daughter's appointment or the investigation that was conducted against him. 

"Regarding the (appointment) of the CFO and Pretorius, there are processes in place in terms of recruitment and appointment. They are quite strict. If there is any allegation of impropriety, then a complaint should be made and should be investigated," he said. 

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