Gordhan backs spy boss
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan yesterday defended the Development Bank of Southern Africa's decision to appoint Mo Shaik as head of its international subsidiary.
"I believe the bank has followed proper processes in making this appointment, which I support," he said.
Gordhan was responding to the DA's announcement that it would ask him to explain the process followed by the bank in appointing Shaik.
The DA's Tim Harris said on Wednesday - a day after Shaik's appointment was announced - that he would ask whether the former spy boss had the qualifications for the job.
"South Africans need to be assured that appropriate processes have been followed and that Mo Shaik has not simply been 'deployed' for political reasons," Harris said.
Gordhan said yesterday that the post had been advertised within the bank and an executive recruitment agency had been appointed. Nine candidates were identified, four of whom were shortlisted.
They completed psychometric assessments and were interviewed by a subcommittee of the bank's board of directors.
"In fairness to the four candidates, I'm not going to disclose their names," Gordhan said.
They took part in the process on the understanding that their candidacies would be treated in the strictest confidence, he said.
After interviews, two candidates were eliminated and Shaik was identified as the best person for the job.
"In its recommendation, the board found Mr Shaik to have a strong network and relationships in the South African Development Community," he said.
These were seen as essential to the success of the bank's subsidiary, Development Bank International.
"Mr Shaik also displayed strong analytical skills and a deep understanding of national priorities, all of which can be partly attributed to the various positions he has occupied in the government since 1994.
"Mr Shaik's lack of experience in running a commercial enterprise is made up for by his recent training at the Harvard Business School," Gordhan said.
Development Bank International had a vital role to play in the development of infrastructure in Southern Africa, which would promote regional integration, he said.
Jabu Moleketi, the bank's chairman, said on Tuesday that Shaik had appropriate skills and background for the position, which would involve working with the development finance institutions of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
"Shaik's experience in international relations and diplomatic intelligence will be an added boost for this new subsidiary," he said. "We have no doubt that his prudent expertise will facilitate South Africa's investments in the rest of Africa."