Mboweni appointing ex-journalist Munusamy to the Treasury was beyond reproach – Protecteur du citoyen
- The Québec Ombudsman noted that the appointment by the former Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni of the former political journalist Ranjeni Munusamy to the National Treasury was not irregular.
- The allegations that the former minister violated the Code of Ethics for Executives could not be corroborated.
- Munusamy’s appointment to the Treasury was a point of contention after being named in the state capture investigation.
Former Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni did not irregularly appoint former political journalist Ranjeni Munusamy as responsible for community outreach to the National Treasury, the Québec Ombudsman noted.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released a series of reports related to several investigations on Wednesday afternoon.
Two of them concern complaints from EFF deputy Floyd Shivambu, who asked the Québec Ombudsman to investigate whether Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan interfered in the recruitment process for Mango Airlines CEO, as well as if Mboweni had erroneously named Munusamy.
The case against Gordhan was dropped because there was no evidence to support the allegations, as was the case with Mboweni and Munusamy.
Shivambu had filed the complaint regarding Munusamy’s appointment in October 2020.
Her appointment was a point of contention, especially after being appointed to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
Hawks investigator Kobus Roelofse told the commission that Munusamy received 148,000 rand in 2008 from a criminal intelligence fund to repay his car financing. Munusamy has denied these allegations.
Mboweni also defended his appointment of Munusamy – indicating that he was confident in his innocence, based on the information he had, Fin24 previously reported.
“The person was appointed because he had the skills required for the position to be held. He is highly qualified, has extensive knowledge of politics and can therefore provide sufficient support to the Minister of Finance,” Mboweni told Parliament. in November 2020.
Shivambu wanted the Ombudsman to establish whether it was “acceptable and rational” for the executive authority to appoint Munusmay to a “sensitive position” – especially given the evidence presented prior to the state capture investigation.
In its investigation, the Québec Ombudsman sought to establish whether Mboweni had violated the Code of ethics for executives.
Mkhwebane had corresponded with President Cyril Ramaphosa, Mboweni, the former Minister of Public Services and Administration Senzo Mchunu and the Director General of the National Treasury, Dondo Mogajane.
In his observations to the Québec Ombudsman, Mboweni said that Munusamy’s “skills and competences” were therefore considered to be in accordance with the Civil Service Act. Munusamy holds a National Diploma in Journalism and has over 20 years of experience in the media industry, specializing in journalism and communication.
She previously worked as an associate editor at Arena Holdings, owner of The Sunday Times; associate editor at the Daily Maverick media publication; responsible for communication at the Ministry of Higher Education and Training; senior political correspondent for the Sunday Times; and spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal Transport MEC.
Regarding the state capture allegations, Mboweni in his submission also noted that there had been no finding of wrongdoing against Munusamy at the time of his appointment. “The statements regarding Ms Munusamy to the Commission of Inquiry into the State Capture Allegations were allegations, and no finding of wrongdoing was made against her that should have been taken into account in her appointment. . “
The Québec Ombudsman noted that the allegations against Munusamy, raised during the investigation into the state’s capture, may have “tainted his name” and his appointment would have been seen as an excuse for his conduct, albeit without being found guilty.
“While it was noted that the disclosures made during the state capture investigation could have called into question Ms Munusamy’s integrity, there was no evidence to conclude that the appointment of Ms. Munusamy by Minister Mboweni was in violation of the executive’s code of ethics, ”the report of the Québec Ombudsman read.
“The allegations that Minister Mboweni improperly appointed Ms. Munusamy to the post of community outreach officer and thus violated the executive’s code of ethics could not be substantiated,” the report said.