Home News Premier’s wife under fire over “unlawful” appointments

Premier’s wife under fire over “unlawful” appointments

8058
SHARE

A labour dispute has been lodged, where it was indicated that although the appointments were authorised it was never disclosed that two of the workers are apparently family members of the chief director of corporate services at the Department of Social Development, Tapsy Saul – the wife of Premier Zamani Saul.

Unions have slammed the appointment of child and youth care development officers believed to be related to Premier Zamani Saul’s wife, Tapsy. File image. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

THE NATIONAL Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) and the Public Servants Association (PSA) want the posts of four child and youth care development workers employed at the Mohele Mampe secure care centre to be nullified as they believe that they are irregular and unlawful.

A labour dispute has been lodged, where it was indicated that although the appointments were authorised it was never disclosed that two of the workers are apparently family members of the chief director of corporate services at the Department of Social Development, Tapsy Saul – the wife of Premier Zamani Saul.

It was stated that the other two workers did not fulfil the selection criteria as they only have work experience as security guards.

An arbitration hearing will be heard at the Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council for Conciliation today.

Nehawu branch chairperson Godfrey Davids indicated that the panellists did not declare their family ties with the shortlisted candidates.

“We have evidence that at least two of the appointed workers are related to Tapsy Saul and her cousin Lebogang Moremetsi, who also sat on the interview panel,” said Davids.

“The chairperson (Moremetsi) refused to disqualify the four candidates, knowing that they did not qualify. The appointment of these candidates amounts to nepotism, a violation and abuse of the recruitment policies. The chief director and head of recruitment must also be investigated for influencing the process.”

Davids added that the appointed persons were not registered with the South African Social Service Professions council.

“Our members applied for the posts for the four vacancies that were advertised and were overlooked. The appointed persons must possess specialised skills as they are expected to work with youths and children and assist with behavioural, social and emotional challenges. The appointed workers do not possess the skills, practical experience, qualifications or training. The appointments were irregular and must be re-advertised while the salaries paid since 2019 must be recouped.”

PSA full-time office-bearer Victor Selabe said that selection and recruitment policies were flouted.

PSA provincial manager Steve Ledibane pointed out that the selected candidates did not possess the minimum requirements for the posts, including an appropriate national qualification framework Level 4 certificate in child and youth care work qualification that allows professional registration with the South African Council for Social Service Professionals.

He stated that the panel decided against the recommendation of panel and trade union representatives to formulate questions on the day of the interviews in order to prevent information from leaking out ahead of time to the candidates.

“The four recommended candidates, according to the factual observation of their résumé, did not meet the requirements of the post – which is relevant training, skills, competence, knowledge, formal qualifications or relevant experience.

“Surprisingly, they were confidently and eloquently able to answer questions relating to the Child Care Act, as if they had a detailed background of the profession, which raised eyebrows. Whereas the rest of the qualified and experienced candidates struggled to answer these questions. I strongly suspect that the pre-prepared questions were leaked to the four recommended candidates.”

The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Social Development, Gamiem Abrahams, indicated that the department would only be in a position to respond to media enquiries once the labour dispute into an alleged unfair practise was concluded and if any findings were pronounced.