HR manager in Limpopo premier’s office arrested for falsifying his qualifications

Limpopo government official said state may freeze Maseko's pension so it can claim the money back.

A senior manager at the office of Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha will spend the weekend behind bars after he was arrested by the Hawks for allegedly falsifying his qualifications.

The human resources manager, Mbobole Micheal Maseko, was arrested on Thursday and appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Friday. Hawks spokesperson in Limpopo, Warrant Officer Lethunya Mmuroa, said he will appear in court again on Tuesday for a formal bail application.

Maseko (59) is accused of misrepresenting his qualifications when applying for the position of senior manager for Human Resource Management in the office of the premier in October 2012.

“He was subsequently shortlisted and eventually appointed into the said position. However, his appointment prejudiced the office of the premier which suffered a loss of more than R11 million,” said Mmuroa.

ALSO READ: Muyexe’s discontent: Zuma’s broken promises haunt ANC

An official at the Limpopo provincial government told The Citizen that, if found guilty, Maseko will have to pay back the R11 million to the state.

“It will mean he was stealing from government. It will mean he started stealing from government since the first month of his employment in 2012 to date.

“What is even more painful, this happens in a province which has recently experienced a jobs bloodbath of nearly 50 000 workers from different sectors of the Limpopo economy.

“At the age of 59, he was about to go on pension. That means the state will apply to freeze his pension funds so that it could claim back all the money stolen from it since 2012,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another source, who also asked for their name to be withheld, said the timing for Maseko’s arrest was not good for the ANC-run Limpopo provincial government ahead of the May elections.

ALSO READ: ‘They made empty promises’, says resident as Mokonyane campaigns for ANC in Limpopo

Maseko’s alleged fraudulent qualifications, according to Mmuroa, were reported to the Hawks for further investigations after the allegations surfaced.

“The case was thoroughly investigated and subsequently, a warrant of arrest was authorised by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Upon investigations, Maseko was arrested.”

Maseko’s arrest has led to the DA accusing the Limpopo provincial government of flouting HR policies.

“In September 2012 the position was advertised and in subsequent interviews, Moipone Mathole was the preferred candidate. Not satisfied with the result, the Office of the Premier re-advertised the position and did not shortlist Mathole. But the woman was sent for a competency test together with Maseko. But it was not Mathole but Maseko, who was later appointed in the position,” said DA Limpopo provincial chair, Lindy Wilson, on Friday.

“This arrest confirmed our long-held view that HR policies were flouted to sacrifice competency to appoint unqualified cadres in the Office of the Premier. The only thing keeping the ANC in Limpopo alive is patronage through cadre deployment and corruption.”

ALSO READ: Mathabatha is not the right man to address Human Rights Day – oppositions

The EFF said it was not surprised by the allegations of Maseko’s fake qualifications and accused the provincial government of being rife with corruption.

“How on earth would a panel shortlist someone without consulting the institution that he allegedly attended. How on earth do you appoint someone without verifying the authenticity of their qualifications. This is pure cadre deployment. We strongly believe that the panel members and the whole syndicate should accompany Maseko to the yellow overhaul,” said EFF provincial chair, Tshilidzi Maraga.