Politics / 18 October 2019, 06:42am / AYANDA MDLULI and SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI
Johannesburg - UDM leader Bantu Holomisa and EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu have questioned the appointment of Adrian Lackay, an aide and spokesperson of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, to the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).
The two leaders claimed on Twitter that Lackay had been illegally appointed to the commission.
They said the situation could not be left unresolved.
It has also emerged that former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas facilitated the employment of Lackay after Gordhan was removed from the Cabinet. Jonas did not respond to questions sent to him yesterday.
A high-ranking official at the PIC told The Star recently that Lackay’s employment at the PIC was arranged when former President Jacob Zuma removed Gordhan, then the finance minister, from his Cabinet.
The official said Gordhan had approached Jonas, his former deputy and the former chairperson of the PIC and non-executive director of financial services firm Sygnia Capital, to arrange for Lackay to be paid through the PIC’s payroll. The official claimed that Jonas had been central to the appointment. Gordhan did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.
On Tuesday, Shivambu tweeted: “Adrian Lackay is a permanent spokesperson of Gordhan and was irregularly imposed into the PIC when Gordhan was not a minister. When the cabal’s godfather returned, Lackay went back to the service of his father, yet remained in the payroll of the PIC. What do you call that?”
This prompted Holomisa to respond via Twitter: “I confirm that Pravin’s spokesperson is being bankrolled by the PIC. However, when enquiries were made he was quickly returned to PIC offices. An explanation is needed by Pravin & PIC. Moonlighting is the word.”
Responding to questions from The Star, Lackay said President Cyril Ramaphosa retained Gordhan as Public Enterprises Minister when announcing his new Cabinet on May29, 2019.
He asked if it was expected that he would move to the Department of Public Enterprises that same week.
“This is the nonsensical nature of the questions you expect me to entertain,” he said. He confirmed that he was an employee of the PIC. “I have been seconded to the Ministry of Public Enterprises for a limited time from mid-2018.
The secondment is a formal, documented arrangement between the PIC and the Department of Public Enterprises, and the secondment request was subjected to the PIC’s governance processes and board approval. Thus, I enjoy the same rights to confidentiality of my contractual details between an employer and employee as everybody else,” he said.
Responding further to the allegations levelled against him, Lackay said: “I can assure the public that I am not involved in, nor would I ever participate in, any ‘illegal’ employment arrangement as you allege.” Deon Botha, the head of Corporate Affairs at the PIC, said its employment contracts were confidential.