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Irregular appointments at Limpopo Sports Department exposed

  • by African Times
  • 8 Months ago
  • 0

KARABO NGOEPE

THE Limpopo Department of Sports, Arts and Culture irregularly appointed a senior manager, unlawfully
“relaxed” the requirements for another senior post and ignored legal advice to lay criminal charges in relation to the awarding of an alleged irregular tender for the Mandela Day celebrations.

According to a Public Service Commission (PSC) report into “alleged irregular appointments and maladministration in the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture”, the appointment of Charles Modiba as Senior Manager: Museum and Heritage Services was irregular and must be reversed using the law.

Modiba, a former Chief of Staff for ex Agriculture MEC Joy Matshoge, who died in a car accident last year, was found to have been appointed without meeting the necessary requirements.

This comes a week after it emerged that Sports, Arts and Culture MEC Onicca Moloi had allegedly forced out a Mapungubwe Jazz Festival service provider, taken over the R12 million festival and directly appointed cronies as service providers in violation of the Public Service Management Act.

UNRESPONSIVE: Limpopo Sports MEC Onicca Moloi. PHOTO: Lebogang Makwela/Visual Buzz SA.

African Times reported that Moloi had allegedly hijacked her department’s procurement processes, splurged R3.9 million on the festival’s gospel leg and unilaterally changed artists’ line up, thus creating a R6 million budget
shortfall.

Compiled by Limpopo Public Service Commissioner George Mashamba, the report seen by African Times also found that the following allegations made anonymously in 2015 had merit.

-Allegations that the department is ignoring legal advice on Mandela Day celebrations to lay criminal charges owing to alleged irregular awarding of tenders;
-Allegations that the advertisement for the post of Senior Manager was unlawfully withdrawn and requirements for the post relaxed;
-Allegations that Senior Manager: MEC Support was irregularly transferred to Senior Manager: Library Services post.

The PSC is a state organ set up to promote good governance and accountability in the public sector.
Mashamba’s report, dated 21 February 2017, further found that three other allegations against the department had been “partly substantiated”.

These include allegations that only males are appointed in acting capacity in the department, Moloi only empowers and promotes males in her department and that there was a male dominated panel for the post of Manager: HOD Support.

Mashamba made the following recommendations in terms of Section 196(4)(d) of the Constitution of South Africa, 1996:

-The department should take the necessary disciplinary steps against the officials who recommended the appointment of Charles Modiba despite him not meeting the requirements of the post and provide feedback to the PSC on the implementation thereof;

-The appointment of Charles Modiba be reversed through the court of law;
-The department is advised to pursue the criminal charges that were abandoned as a result of the suspension of the former HOD, Basani Baloyi. The department is further advised to engage Baloyi who has now been transferred to the Office of the Premier to assist in pursuing the matter further since she is the one who initiated the process;
-The department is requested to submit a report to the PSC explaining the reason for the relaxation of the
requirements for the post of Senior Manager: SCM and to improve its record keeping management and
provide a plan of action in this regard;
-The department and the MEC are advised to consider gender in approving acting appointments;
-The department is advised to consider gender policy when approving appointments in future;
-The department is advised to advertise the post of Senior Manager: Library and Archive Services and fill it with a properly qualified and experienced candidate and Mr Sadiki be moved to the position to which he is properly qualified and experienced.

The PSC launched a probe into the matter after receiving an anonymous complaint in 2015.

A full report has been sent to Moloi and Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha, noted Mashamba.
Insiders in the department have accused Moloi of sitting on the report and failing to implement its recommendations after receiving it upon taking over as MEC in September last year.

Moloi’s spokesperson Moloko Moloto confirmed that the MEC received the report but denied that she ignored it.
“The report was only handed to the MEC after she recently took up the office and she’s considering it in line with the applicable rules and regulations. A skills audit will be introduced in the department to look into whether all employees are qualified and have skills for the positions they’re holding,” Moloto said.

Modiba could not be reached for comment.

His phone rang unanswered and he failed to return a text message for comment.

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