Top job for messenger row

A LIMPOPO government messenger has been promoted to a senior position - but colleagues claim he does not have the required matric certificate.

The official, who worked as a messenger in the provincial treasury department, was promoted to the position of parliamentary officer of the department.

He was moved from level five, where he used to earn R6224 a month, to level 12, which provides a basic salary of R31244.

The official, whose name cannot be released pending an investigation, was appointed to the position in October last year.

It is still not clear how he was recommended to the position, but it is claimed he was a close friend of former head of the department Rob Tooley, who has since been appointed chief executive of Limpopo Tourism and Parks.

Sources in the department claimed that Tooley was instrumental in ensuring that the former messenger was elevated, despite his lack of qualifications.

According to the advertised post, an applicant must possess matric - and a university degree - to be eligible for the position.

The strange appointment has set tongues wagging in the department.

It is alleged the official also used a government vehicle as his private property, keeping it over weekends.

Sowetan is in possession of documents indicating the official's new salary scale.

Some of the department's officials, who declined to have there names published, said they viewed the promotion as nepotism.

They claimed that capable people with relevant qualifications were overlooked, only because they were not connected to the "powers-that-be".

Tooley told Sowetan it did not matter who he had befriended while at treasury and he was aware there were people who were against him in the department, hence the allegations.

Department spokesperson Muvhango Sadiki said: "If the allegations are proved to be true, action must be taken across the board and monies must be recovered."