Official in jobs for pals and family row
A SENIOR employee of the Western Cape's rural development and land reform department is under scrutiny after complaints of nepotism, favouritism and corruption from frustrated workers.
Land Minister Gugile Nkwinti has now entered the fray to mend the cracks.
Provincial chief director Babalwa Magoda is not only accused of victimising workers who question her, but also of flouting employment procedures and lowering the bar to make room for friends and relatives on the department's payroll.
Nkwinti's spokesman, Mtobeli Mxotwa, has confirmed that the minister received complaints from workers at the provincial office and that he was investigating the allegations.
It remains to be seen how things will pan out for Magoda, since claims were being made that she had bragged that nothing would happen to her because she was dating high-ranking officials within the government and the ruling party.
Some complaints relate to a recently advertised level 11 post for which Magoda is said to have "deliberately" included the option of a matric certificate as a minimum requirement to accommodate a junior official, widely believed to be a close friend.
That is contrary to other posts on the same or even lower levels, which provide no such option, like that of a level eight senior auditor, which states that candidates must have a "relevant degree".
National Education Health and Allied Workers Union provincial secretary Luthando Nogcinisa yesterday said matters had deteriorated since an "incompetent" Magoda took office about three years ago.
"She is a young and incompetent manager.
"She doesn't accept being challenged on those issues. Whoever does is dragged through disciplinary (hearings) and charged with insubordination," said Nogcinisa.
He added that victimisation and intimidation were the order of the day in the department.
The union took to the streets on Tuesday, demanding the department's response to a myriad issues affecting workers, but were snubbed by management who stated that their picketing action was illegal.
A memorandum was later sent by e-mail.
Magoda refused to comment on the allegations levelled against her, saying that she was not allowed to speak to the media. -