ANCYL leader appointed to Mpumalanga education post without following procedures: Mkhwebane

12 December 2019 - 15:28 By ERNEST MABUZA
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Antonio Muchave

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has ordered that the appointment of Desmond Moela, the ANC Youth League deputy president, to a senior education post in Mpumalanga, be set aside.

She made the ruling after an investigation found that the basic education department in the province had failed to follow the proper recruitment and selection process when Moela was appointed.

Mkhwebane launched the investigation after she received a complaint in 2015 from a person who wished to remain anonymous.

“It was based on a City Press article of September 2015. It alleged departmental authorities lowered the requirements of a director’s post in the department of basic education to suit the newly-elected [deputy] president of ANCYL, Desmond Moela,” Mkhwebane said.

She said the department had advertised the post, according to the newspaper, in a circular in July 2015, in which it stated that the educational requirements for the post were an appropriately recognised bachelor's degree, a diploma or grade 12 plus extensive appropriate experience.

Mkhwebane said, according to the newspaper, the investigation had found that Moela had studied towards a three-year qualification at the Tshwane University of Technology in 2009 where he failed all three subjects he registered for.

“On analysis of the complaint, we decided to investigate whether the department improperly and irregularly lowered the requirements of the position, which is director: HR capacity and development, to suit Mr Moela and whether the department has failed to follow proper recruitment and selection process.

“These allegations were found to be substantiated,” Mkhwebane said.

Mkhwebane said that, in addition, her office requested the department to implement a number of remedial steps within 30 days of the report.

“The job description of the position in question is reviewed and the required minimum qualifications are aligned with the guidelines of the appointment of senior manager in the public service.”

She said the head of department (HOD) must, within 60 days, ensure that the CFO investigate the fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred and report it to the provincial treasury.

“The HOD must also further, within 60 days, take appropriate steps against the employees implicated. The HOD must institute a judicial review to set aside the appointment of Mr Moela.”

Moela finally obtained his tertiary qualification, a national diploma in public management, in March this year.

The report on the complaint against the department of basic education was one of many reports Mkhwebane released on Thursday. Others dealt with service delivery complaints from government departments and complaints of irregular appointments.