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By Citizen Reporter


Mkhwebane raises eyebrows after hiring official fired from rural development dept

The public protector's spokesperson says Mahlangu was appointed through a 'competitive recruitment process'.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is reportedly under fire over the appointment of a new chief executive at the chapter 9 institution which has apparently caused unease among staff, City Press reports.

According to the report, the chief executive Vusi Mahlangu was dismissed from the department of rural development and land reform over a scandal involving the handing over of a farm in Limpopo to former minister Gugile Nkwinti’s ANC comrade.

Mahlangu was the deputy director-general of the department at the time.

The Sunday Times reported in February last year that the Bekendvlei Farm was bought for R97 million and handed over to Errol Velile Present, who had been working at Luthuli House for more than 10 years, and his partner to manage without the required procedures being followed.

Mkhwebane’s spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, confirmed to City Press that Mahlangu had been appointed on May 2 after a “competitive recruitment process”. She also confirmed that there is a legal process under way at the labour court relating to Mahlangu’s dismissal from the department.

Mahlangu believes that his being made the “scapegoat” for officials in the department who were involved in the scandal, according to people close to him who spoke to the publication.

Last month, Mkhwebane admitted to Parliament’s justice portfolio that the State Security Agency (SSA) had a hand in the operational affairs of her office.

Staff at the office have reportedly raised concerns about the presence of the SSA in the office and claimed that it hindered their ability to do their work properly because of fears of being watched while they handled sensitive information.

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Busisiwe Mkhwebane