Minister hits back over director-general who hired mistress for top ethics job
Durban - The Department of Public Service and Administration has distanced itself from an investigation that found the director-general (DG) of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Dr Dovhani Mamphiswana, guilty of abusing his powers.
The investigation was conducted by advocate Smanga Sethene on the instruction of the state attorney in Pretoria. It was conducted after a Sunday Independent newspaper report alleged Mamphiswana illegally ensured the hiring of his 39-year-old mistress, with whom he had a child.
Mamphiswana allegedly chaired the interview panel and did not disclose that he had a close relationship with the woman who eventually scooped the job of chief director for professional ethics. The mistress was also found not to be suitably qualified for the job.
The revelations prompted Dr Leon Schreiber, DA spokesperson for public service and administration, to claim President Cyril Ramaphosa failed to act against Mamphiswana even when a legal opinion argued he had to be suspended.
Responding to the allegations on behalf of its minister, Senzo Mchunu, the department said Ramaphosa delegated Mchunu to act and there is an investigation that is still under way.
“The Minister for the Public Service and Administration has accordingly caused the matter to be subjected to an investigation and has appointed a two-person team to carry out the investigation and to provide a report on the findings of the investigation.
"This investigation, conducted by Ms Michele Snyman and Mr Ronnie Pather, is at an advanced stage and it is expected that the report will be finalised shortly.
"From the media reports it appears that the Public Service Commission had commissioned its own internal investigation, which has resulted in the report by advocate Smanga Sethene. In this regard, the Public Service Commission would be better placed to respond to the contents thereof."
The department added that once the investigation authorised by Ramaphosa is concluded and the report is finalised, the necessary remedial action will be taken.
“It is a grave disinformation by the Democratic Alliance to spread unfounded allegations that the Public Service Commission is a 'cesspit' of corruption without providing any tangible evidence.
"It should be noted that due to this alleged incident, it does not in any way justify attacks on the whole commission as a corrupt body and further question its integrity,” it concluded.