Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu has slammed the DA over saying the Public Service Commission is a “cesspit” of corruption, calling it “dangerous misinformation”.
This comes after the DA laid charges against the ANC’s anti-corruption watchdog head, director-general (DG) of the Public Service Commission (PSC) Dr Dovhani Mamphiswana and his girlfriend, who is the chief director in professional ethics in Cape Town.
The DA also referred to Mamphiswana and his girlfriend, who is the mother of his minor child, as the ANC’s “Bonnie and Clyde of corruption”. Her name is not mentioned to protect the identity of the child.
Mchunu says in a statement the Public Service Commission is an institution which seeks to ensure, amongst others, good governance in the public service and derives its mandate from Section 196 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
Therefore, “these allegations against the Director-General are viewed in a serious light”.
“In January 2020, certain allegations were made against the Director-General regarding the aforesaid recruitment process. The allegations were escalated to the Honourable President, as the Executive Authority vested with the power to deal with matters pertaining to national Heads of Department.
“Due to the serious nature of the allegations, the President, in terms of Section 12 (1)(a), read with Section 42A (3), of the Public Service Act, 1994, delegated the power to investigate the allegations to the Minister for the Public Service and Administration through a President Act No.43 signed 27 February 2020.”
Mchunu says that contrary to unfounded accusations by the Democratic Alliance, Ramaphosa acted swiftly and within the parameters of the law to ensure that the allegations against Mamphiswana are investigated.
“It is therefore nonsensical for the Member of Parliament of the Democratic Alliance Dr Leon Schreiber, to suggest that the President has failed to take action on the allegations. At all times, proper processes and procedures should be followed irrespective of against whom the allegations are made.
“The Democratic Alliance and Dr Schreiber should not use such a serious governance and ethics matter to play political games with it.”
Mchunu says he 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.”
He adds that 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.
“However, I want to place on record that the investigation which stems from the President’s delegated authority to the Minister for the Public Service and Administration, is separate from the investigation concluded by Advocate Sethene. Once the investigation authorised by the President is concluded and the report is finalised, the necessary remedial action will be taken by the President with due regard to prevailing prescripts.
“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 anyway justify attacks on the whole Commission as a corrupt body and further question its integrity.
“The Commission is a Constitutional body that abides by its commitment to, amongst others, to
ensure that there is maintenance of effective and efficient public administration and high standard of professional ethic in the Public Service. Also, the Commission is led by men and women of integrity who should not be thrown into the “cesspit” of the Democratic Alliance as they continue to carry out their responsibilities ethically, professionally and diligently.
“Accordingly, the President and the Minister for the Public Service and Administration remain resolute in their endeavour to ensure an ethical and professional public service and are therefore, committed to ensuring that this matter receives serious attention,” Mchunu added.