By Adv Boitumelo Babuseng, MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson for Economic Affairs:
The Democratic Alliance has requested a formal inquiry from the Public Service Commission into personnel practices at the Northern Cape Liquor Board.
We are made to believe that the appointment of Ms. Rudessa Stadhauer-Andrews as chief executive officer of the board is irregular. The Northern Cape Liquor Act gives the MEC for Finance a fairly wide discretion to appoint a chief executive officer. These appointments must be made within the prescripts of the law. In the event of discrepancies, the MEC should withdraw the appointment.
The MEC cannot ignore all the regulations and requirements entirely.
There still has to be a transparent and fair process, which must include advertising the post and interviewing a short-list of potential candidates. The MEC might have a discretion in the appointment, but he does not have the power to dispense with the Public Service Act entirely.
Section 12(3) of the Northern Cape Liquor Act confers the power to make appointments on the chief executive officer. If the appointment of the chief executive officer is irregular, however, how legal are the employment contracts that she entered into on behalf of the Liquor Board?
Evidence at our disposal indicates that Ms. Stadhauer-Andrews has made questionable appointments during her tenure. For example, one of the employees she had appointed was previously dismissed from the Northern Cape Gambling Board for misconduct. How was this appointment justified?
The Democratic Alliance believes that a transparent, accountable public administration rests on fair, objective personnel practices.
Appointments in the public administration, including public entities, must comply with the Public Service Act and must be based on merit.
Anything else is just favouritism which undermines the efficiency of the public service.