Withdraw your report on appointments, MEC tells PSC
Transport MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe wants the Public Service Commission to withdraw its explosive report which red-flagged 15 appointments as irregular, describing it as “unfair” and “incomplete”.
Public Service commissioner Lulu Sizani presented the report at the Eastern Cape legislature last week. It recommends that 15 appointments should be set aside through the courts, with those implicated demoted.
The report paints Tikana-Gxothiwe and deputy director-general Lomex Sisilana, who was identified as being irregularly appointed, as having flouted established processes when the 15 were appointed.
In an interview at the department’s headquarters in Stellenbosch Park, King William’s Town on Tuesday, Tikana-Gxothiwe said the report was “incomplete and we will seek to have the PSC withdraw it”.
However, Sizani, who vowed to root out corruption when she assumed office earlier this year, told the Daily Dispatch that she would continue doing her job without fear or favour.
“We are not here to make the MEC happy. We do our work without fear or favour. We are an independent constitutional body.
“She had a chance to take our report on review and she said she wasn’t taking our report on review,” Sizani said.
Earlier, Tikana-Gxothiwe said Sizani needed to “close the gaps” in the report before the MEC could take further action. Tikana-Gxothiwe said although she would rectify matters where wrongdoing was found, “due processes must be followed on all fronts”.
“It is prudent and in keeping with the principle of fairness to engage people under investigation before a sentence is imposed upon them,” Tikana-Gxothiwe said in a statement before she was interviewed by the Daily Dispatch.
The MEC said she’d initially responded to the PSC report and promised to draw up an implementation plan.
“However, I’ve since sought legal advice on the matter. My intention is to write to her and indicate the areas where I believe I was not afforded an opportunity as she initially promised.”
Tikana-Gxothiwe said she had given Sizani a detailed response.
“They said they don’t want that, then referred back my correspondence and said they want me to note the report and implement her instruction. For now I’m still waiting for the premier’s response.
“I wrote to the premier, indicating my dissatisfaction on how she is handling the matter. I further wrote to him indicating and pointing areas of discomfort to me.”
Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha confirmed last week that the premier would meet with Tikana-Gxothiwe and Sizani after the MEC asked for his intervention.
Tikana-Gxothiwe said one of the issues she’d highlighted was the recommendation that the department set aside appointments through a court process and that disciplinary processes be taken against panellists and officials.
“In my view, there should be an interview or an engagement with the panellists. Not everyone was engaged by the public service commissioner. There was no fairness in the processes.
“Only a few among the 15 were questioned. Even those who are alleged to have been non-compliant were not questioned,” Tikana-Gxothiwe said.
The MEC said she had engaged the 15 officials and was awaiting a report from them.