“The fact that the chairperson was not given an opportunity to respond to the allegation nor to the preliminary findings goes against the grain of natural justice.”
THE SACP has expressed its support for its provincial chairperson and MEC for Health Maruping Lekwene.
Lekwene obtained an urgent interim interdict last week to prevent the implementation of the findings of a public protector’s report that recommended that the premier take disciplinary action against him for the irregular appointment of the chief executive officer of the Northern Cape Liquor Board, Vincent Mothibi.
He was the MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism at the time of the appointment.
Lekwene turned to the court, as he pointed out that the premier could only dismiss an MEC and not merely take disciplinary steps against him.
SACP provincial spokesperson Patrick Bosiame said Lekwene had provided a detailed account and explanation on the matter to the party.
“As the matter is under review we will continue to support comrade Lekwene as he protects himself. The fact that the chairperson was not given an opportunity to respond to the allegation nor to the preliminary findings goes against the grain of natural justice,” said Bosiame.
“We believe that the findings are casting aspersions on the integrity of our chairperson, which have been blown out of proportion. If left unchallenged there is the potential risk of leaving behind irreparable harm to his integrity and standing in society.”
Bosiame refuted the public protector’s findings that found that Mothibi was appointed without the requisite qualifications.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. It is public knowledge that Mothibi has been employed as a senior manager in the Department of Economic Affairs and the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs for many years. During that period, both the Northern Cape Gambling Board and the Liquor Board reported to Mothibi, who possesses vast experience as far as regulatory bodies in the Province are concerned.”
Bosiame believed that allegations of irregular appointments in the administration should be referred to the Public Service Commission for investigation.