The public protector has ordered that Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) boss Makhosini Msibi be taken to task for the irregular appointment of service providers, excessive payments of his bodyguards and improper recruitment.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found that Msibi, an advocate, acted “improperly” by appointing legal firms and lawyers to conduct disciplinary cases against employees, despite RTMC having existing contracts with other law firms.
“Lawyers/legal firms were continuously appointed through a process of deviation and it is evident that this practice continued for a period of four years, from 2014 to 2018, until they had appointed a panel of lawyers/legal firms for the said service,” Mkhwebane said in her report.
She said it was apparent that the appointments were based on personal preferences and not on a fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective obligation, as required by the constitution and Treasury regulations.
Mkhwebane found that Msibi’s appointment of senior counsels, or advocates, to handle disciplinary processes, which did not require such high levels of expertise, were contrary to the obligations to efficient, economic and effective use of state resources in line with section 195(1) (b) of the constitution.
Although Treasury regulations required service providers to have tax clearance prior to appointment, Mkhwebane noted that one of the attorneys was appointed to do work for RTMC despite not having this.
She said evidence indicated that the procured lawyers were not from the list of service providers on RTMC’s supplier database or that of Treasury, and that these appointments failed the emergency procurement and sole supplier tests.
“[Msibi] failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent the abuse of the supply chain management system as required by National Treasury regulation …,” the Public Protector ruled.
Mkhwebane also criticised Msibi for approving the “excess” payment of overtime for his bodyguards, as well as the improper appointment of Julia Manamela as an administration assistant.
The public protector found that the process of employing Manamela in November 2014 was not fair or transparent and that she was the only one vying for the position.
Mkhwebane said Manamela’s appointment raised “eyebrows” as it appeared that RTMC “deliberately manipulated the process with the intention to employ Manamela permanently”.
She noted that Manamela was promoted to the position of supply chain management practitioner and her salary increased three-fold in six months, from just over R100 000 per annum to R333 000.
Mkhwebane noted that the position of administration assistant on which Manamela was appointed was vacant and funded, therefore it should have been openly advertised. Instead, it was only advertised internally.
She recommended that RTMC board take action against Msibi for these transgressions.
Msibi’s spokesperson, Simon Zwane, said they had noted the report, which Mkhwebane signed off on September 16, and that it would be discussed in a board meeting.