De Lille prepares to turf out irregular Public Works appointees

Cape Town – Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille is going to the high court to set aside several appointments in her department after some officials were irregularly chosen.

This came after the Public Service Commission’s investigation found that 688 officials were irregularly appointed between 2017 and last year.

De Lille said she was going to the high court to ensure those who were flagged by the PSC were removed.

De Lille’s spokesperson Zara Nicholson said the PSC reviewed the appointments of senior staff, middle managers and lower staff.

The commission’s report flagged 12 senior managers who were irregularly appointed and that their appointments be set aside.

The report also recommended to De Lille that officials who were involved in the appointments of those senior officials face disciplinary action, said Nicholson.

“To this end, the department of public works and infrastructure can confirm that the application to review and set aside the appointments has already been served to all affected senior managers, filed at court and now waiting for the affected employees to file the answering papers.

“The disciplinary action against the members of the panel were initiated and scheduled during the last week of May.

“However, they were postponed until further notice due to certain procedural aspects of the process and this has now been resolved.

“At this stage the initiators are finalising the logistical arrangements including the necessary notifications to the affected employees.,” said Nicholson.

She said the PSC has not yet concluded the second phase of the probe, but it has given De Lille and the department a provisional report.

The minister and the department are making comments on the provisional report.

The second phase of the investigation involves the appointment of a number of staff members at middle management and lower levels of staff.

The Department of Public Works, through the Special Investigating Unit, is embroiled in another litigation over the Nkandla matter with architect Minenhle Makhanya.

The SIU is suing Makhanya for R155 million and wants to recoup that money.

Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola said the Special Tribunal will be launched in October to fast-track civil claims against people implicated in looting the state.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the SIU wants to claw back R14.7 billion that was stolen from state coffers.

He said the Special Tribunal will be able to speed up cases that the state was pursuing against various people.

Judge Mlindelwa Gidfonia Makhanya is the head of the Special Tribunal and will serve a term of five years.

He is assisted by seven other judges who will preside over the civil claims once brought by the SIU.

Political Bureau

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