Row over 'job for pal'

THE head of Mpumalanga's sport and recreation department, Sindi Mjwara, has allegedly appointed an"unqualified close friend" to a 2010 Soccer World Cup position.

Mjwara is accused of appointing Sandra Khathi, who is said to be a very close friend of her's, as director of the province's 2010 Fifa World Cup projects. Mjwara has, however, vehemently denied that Khathi is her friend.

The integrity management unit, which investigates allegations of irregular appointments of personnel in the province, has found that the criteria used to shortlist "the director for 2010 Fifa World Cup projects" in the department was not in line with the requirements of the advert.

The advertisement, which appeared on November 28 2007, indicated that a degree or equivalent qualification in project management was required for the position.

Khathi has a Grade 12 certificate, a teacher's diploma and a human management movement certificate.

She beat fellow candidates, MC Nkosi, LG Molepo, LH Mohlomongane and PS Phala, who all have degrees and further qualifications in project management. Also overlooked was another applicant with a master's degree.

But Mjwara has defended her decision to appoint Khathi, saying there are various policy and legislative interventions that were introduced by the government after 1994 to recognise qualifications other than those procured through formal academic training.

"A person can have a qualification in project management without necessarily attending any university or technikon, but have knowledge, experience and exposure in the field," said Mjwara.

Mjwara insisted that despite not having relevant qualifications for the post, Khathi had convinced the selection committee that she was"suitable".