Pravin Gordhan

Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan.
Photo: Flickr

Public Protector clears Pravin Gordhan in chief of staff appointment

Pravin Gordhan approved the appointment of his chief of staff, whose new gig came with a R1 million annual salary and some perks

Pravin Gordhan

Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan.
Photo: Flickr

Acting Public Protector, Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka has cleared Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, of any wrongdoing in the appointment of his Chief of Staff, Nthabiseng Borotho.

The Public Protector’s office had been investigating the circumstances surrounding Borotho’s appointment to the ministry.

“On the basis of evidence uncovered during the investigation and the relevant regulatory framework, the Public Protector’s office found that the minister did not act in violation of the Executive Code of Ethics when he appointed Ms Borotho as chief of staff,” Gcaleka said.

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In March 2020, IOL reported that Pravin Gordhan approved the appointment of Nthabiseng Borotho, whose gig came with a cool R1 million annual salary and a R7 035 monthly allowance. Gordhan reportedly sought the go-ahead from Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu to hire Borotho, despite lacking the necessary qualifications and experience.

Mchunu is said to have approved the appointment in an internal memo from August 2019.

Sources further claimed that Borotho was quick to make use of some of the job perks – including taking possession of a luxury government vehicle and a petrol card.

“The minister appointed Ms Borotho to the position in question in line with regulations of the public service regulations whereby he sought approval in as envisaged from former minister of the Department of Public Service and Administration, Mr Senzo Mchunu by way of a deviation from Borotho’s lack of formal qualification for the post.”

Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka

The saga surrounding Borotho had reportedly also resulted in the department’s spokesperson, Sam Mkokeli resigning.

“The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) must inform the media that Mr Sam Mkokeli, the spokesperson for the DPE, has resigned on 28 October 2020. His resignation was duly accepted on 3 November 2020 by Mr Kgathatso Tlhakudi, the Director-General of the DPE. Mr Mkokeli is serving his notice period until 30 November 2020,” the DPE said in a statement on Sunday, 22 November 2020.

Mkokeli had challenged his employer to produce Borotho’s matric certificate, which the department was yet to do.

“Release the matric certificate and deny that Borotho hired her relatives. Period. Stop the forensic investigation,” he said.