Wednesday, September 28, 2022 | AG vows to tighten controls on appointments, transfers after report... | AG vows to tighten controls on appointments, transfers after report clears her




Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke.

Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke.

  • Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke told Parliament that she took threats from chief people officer Mlungisi Mabasa as an attack on herself and the institution.
  • A Bowmans report cleared Maluleke of all allegations against her but raised internal control deficiencies in an appointment and a compensation payment. 
  • Deputy Auditor-General Vonani Chauke said the Chapter 9 institution was developing a time-bound strategy to address internal control weaknesses.
  • Get the biggest business stories emailed to you every weekday, or go to the News 24 Business front page.

Auditor-General (AG) Tsakani Maluleke said her office would pursue a strategy to tighten internal controls on appointments and compensation-related transactions. This after a Bowmans report cleared her of eight allegations made by the AG’s head of human resources, Mlungisi Mabaso, but raised these matters as internal shortcomings.

Maluleke was briefing Parliament’s Standing Committee on the Auditor General (SCOAG) on Friday morning on the report into the now-refuted allegations.

After clashing with Maluleke over his performance and the low number of recruited trainees to work at the institution that successfully obtained a Certificate of Theory in Accountancy (CTA), Mabaso proceeded to accuse Maluleke of clearing irregular transactions and making irregular appointments.

In the Bowmans report, Advocate Werner Krull clears Maluleke of any wrongdoing and refutes Mabaso’s claims that she authorised a string of unlawful payments as the incumbent and deputy AG to benefit the late former AG Kimi Makwetu.

READ | Report clears Auditor-General of wrongdoing, while backfiring on her accuser  

Krull found that while he had 22 years’ experience in public relations, the appointment of Harold Maloka as head of communications did not meet the legal requirement, after the waiver of the recruitment process.

Mabaso had also accused Maluleke of paying interest on the deferred compensation package to Makwetu’s widow, without the authorisation of SCOAG.

Krull found that while the interest was payable on the package “the calculation of and the dates in respect of which interest was paid was incorrect”. The report recommended that the calculation be revisited and, if necessary, be recouped from his estate.

Deputy AG Vonani Chauke told the committee that while the Bowmans investigation cleared Maluleke of wrongdoing, the document-keeping standards at the institution where it related to appointments needed to be improved.

“In cases where the executives responsible did not do their jobs, we will take action. We take the legal opinion of the report seriously and we will work to tighten control weaknesses with a time-bound strategy,” said Chauke.

Chauke said after interrogating the legal opinion, the audit committee noted weaknesses in two out of the nine allegations against the AG, namely the calculation of interest paid to the deceased estate of the late AG Mr Makwetu and the appointment of the head of communications.

“These isolated matters of procedure will be considered in the broader context of the AGSA’s organisational risk assessment. The executive leadership committed to including the procedural weaknesses in a plan for the committee’s monitoring at its scheduled meetings,” Chauke said.

READ | Official suspended after allegedly trying to blackmail Auditor-General

Maluleke said she met with Mabaso in June after he had complained that the manner in which she held him accountable for the low uptake of accredited recruits amounted to humiliation.

She said Mabaso asserted that if his claims against her went public, they would hurt his reputation, and he then proceeded to request a financial settlement. She said she refused to entertain a financial settlement to facilitate Mabaso’s exit, asking him to either continue working or resign.

“I cannot allow myself to be intimidated or threatened from doing my job. It is against this background that I had these allegations subjected to a swipe and transparent review. We have been transparent with staff and oversight institutions about this matter from the beginning,” she said.

A statement from the office of the AG said Mabaso is expected to appear before the disciplinary committee before the end of September.

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