Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi has gone on a hiring spree, employing family members to her office, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
The report stated that friends and relatives – many of whom are uncles and cousins – have been appointed to her office as drivers, deputy directors, and a “food services aide”
An official in the department said it was as if “when the minister went home to Limpopo for a weekend, she would employ another person from her province”.
The report stated that Muthambi’s office now consists of 27 staff. The ministerial handbook makes provision for a minister to appoint 10 people and two advisers.
The appointments are also said to be made without posts being advertised or due process being followed.
The Sunday Times said the following were among the appointments made by Muthambi:
- A close friend of Muthambi employed as a “food service aide” – pays R131,368 a year.
- A man reportedly married to Muthambi’s aunt is a deputy director – pays over R600,000 a year.
- Two relatives employed as drivers.
- A relative employed as a deputy director – pays over R500,000 per year.
- The daughter of one of Muthambi’s friends employed as an admin assistant.
- A longtime friend employed as a senior administration officer.
Department spokesperson Dumisani Nkwamba said Muthambi had not broken any laws with her appointments, as “the minister may appoint persons in posts in the ministry without following advertisement processes provided such appointments are linked to the term of the minister or for a period not exceeding three years”.
The news follows reports that Muthambi flew 30 of her family members at taxpayers’ expense to Cape Town for her first budget speech as Public Service minister.