Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is not pleased with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s comments on a remedial action issued against treasury director general Dondo Mogajane.
Earlier on Wednesday the minister said he had full confidence in Mogajane, despite a remedial action by Mkhwebane to have Mogajane disciplined for not disclosing a criminal record in his application for the job.
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The crime is a speeding ticket, which he did not disclose in his application to lead treasury.
Earlier Mboweni told journalists that Mogajane is “very nice” and a “good Christian” and that he had Mboweni’s backing.
Mboweni also said that he would take the matter on review.
Mkhwebane’s office in turn has issued a statement, expressing her “disquiet” about Mboweni’s comments which Mkhwebane believes has trivialised a “serious matter”.
“Adv. Mkhwebane would like to stress the point that this was not merely a ‘traffic fine’ as suggested by Mr. Mboweni and other critics but a conviction by a court of law,” the statement read.
“The conviction ought to have been disclosed, given that the government Z83 form which is used to gather information about prospective employees explicitly probes if applicants have a criminal record, a question to which the applicants are required to respond with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.
“In response to this question, Mr. Mogajane replied with a ‘no’ despite having been made aware previously that this kind of conduct amounted to dishonesty on his part,” the statement read.
According to the Public Protector’s office the finding was based on law and rules of the public service.
“The President has already pronounced that he is taking action in this matter. It is therefore strange that the Minister appears to be contradicting the President,” Mkhwebane said in response to Mboweni’s comments that he is reviewing her remedial action.
Mkhwebane will write to Ramaphosa and the Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete to “report ministers who interfere with the functioning of her office in violation of the Constitution”.
Mboweni said that he had no problem with the Public Protector’s office which was an institution empowered by the Constitution, but rather that he had a problem with the “incumbent”, Mkhwebane.