Disgraced Mokoena gets top IFP job

By Andre Koopman Time of article published Jan 18, 2000

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Disgraced former director-general of home affairs Albert Mokoena, who was fired from his job for mismanagement, has been appointed as management and administrative consultant by the IFP.

The IFP said in a statement on Tuesday that it had hired Mokoena because the party needed professional attention to its "management expertise" and improvement in its administrative capacity.

He was fired by President Mbeki after a disciplinary inquiry found him guilty of running a private basketball team from his office.

He was also accused of mismanagement following a spate of complaints about work and residence permits.

The DP said Mokoena's appointment was "laughable".

"When one considers that Mr Mokoena left one of the biggest departments in the country in a state of chaos, the IFP's genuine belief that Mr Mokoena has 'administrative and organisational skills that have been widely recognised and which are highly appreciated' is laughable," the DP said.

A disciplinary inquiry, headed by former labour court judge Puke Maserumule, found Mr Mokoena guilty of misconduct, including conflict of interest, private use of work facilities, improper use of state vehicles and use of government officials for private work.

Police were also investigating how foreign members of his basketball team obtained SA identity documents.

He was under criminal investigation in connection with the disappearance of R2 million from the Independent Electoral Commission while he worked there.

Mokoena was also found guilty of arranging for members of the basketball team to be transported from Durban to Pietermaritzburg in government vehicles.

The IFP said it was hiring Mokoena because he had "administrative and organisational skills that have been widely recognised and which are highly appreciated by the party . . ."

He had been acting as consultant to the IFP and he would be dealing with restructuring its office because the party was moving to a larger office, it said.

The DP said that the IFP's decision to appoint Mokoena was a stinging indictment of a party which professed to be committed to clean government and high standards in public life.

While Mokoena's appointment was an internal matter, there was no escaping the fact that actions spoke louder than words.

"(Home Affairs) Minister Buthelezi refused to act against Mokoena when allegations surfaced.

"This inaction on the part of the minister raised considerable speculation in the media as to the nature of their apparently 'close' relationship. It now appears as though the minister remains determined to protect his disgraced director-general by offering him sheltered employment in the IFP," the DP said.

Defending Mokoena's appointment, IFP national spokesperson Musa Zondi said the former director-general had not been fired for mismanagement but because he had run a private club in contravention of public service regulations. This had nothing to do with his management skills.

Mokoena had management experience, working in this capacity before joining the government.

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