Muthambi denies reports she employed friends and family in her private office

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Communications Minister Faith Muthambi answers questions during the ad hoc Parliamentary committee inquiry into the fitness of SABC members to hold office on December 14, 2016 in Cape Town.

CAPE TOWN – Public Service and Administration minister Faith Muthambi on Monday dismissed weekend media reports that she had given jobs in her private office to relatives and friends.

The Sunday Times reported that Muthambi had appointed 27 people to her private office, more than what she is entitled to according to the ministerial handbook.

The rules cap the number of staff in the minister’s private office at 10.

“None of the support staff mentioned in the Sunday Times story are friends nor relatives of the Minister,” the Muthambi's office said in a statement.

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The newspaper claimed Muthambi had appointed uncles and cousins as support staff, drivers and deputy directors in her office. Muthambi called the reports misleading, saying that she is allowed to make appointments without advertising the positions.

“…Section 9 of the Public Service Act, 1994, read with Regulation 66 of the Public Service Regulations, 2016 the Minister may appoint persons in posts in the Ministry without following advertisement processes provided that such appointments are either linked to the term of the Minister or for a period not exceeding three years,” her office said.

“In addition, the Minister is permitted, in terms of Regulation 57(2) of the Public Service Regulations, to appoint persons additional to the establishment. Appointments additional to the establishment are not required to be done through advertisement processes.”

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The Sunday Times alleged that among the appointments were the daughter of the disgraced former SABC Chief Operating Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Last month, the newspaper reported that the minister had spent hundreds of thousands of rands in taxpayers’ money to fly friends and family to Cape Town to listen to her budget speech in May.

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