The Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Thuso Ramodimoosi and the PEEPA Board Chairperson, Tiny Kgatlwane has been ordered to ensure that all the irregularities within PEEPA are dealt with immediately.
This follows revelations by PEEPA executives that appeared before committee last week, that due process and laws were often not adhered to at PEEPA board level when decisions were taken.
Unsatisfied MPs forming the committee has then said it is crucial to demand answers from PS and chairperson over deteriorating state of affairs at PEEPA.
The duo has been summoned before the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises (PSCB&SCE) to account over the embattled agency’s flux state of affairs.
Committee used its power of summons to get PEEPA Board chairman Tiny Kgatlwane to update parliament over the continuous sorry state that the agency is going through at the moment.
PEEPA came under spotlight following the recent suspension of the agency CEO Ezekiel Moumakwa by the board over undisclosed allegations of misconduct.
During the examination of PEEPA last week, the PSCB&SCE learnt that the agency has been operating for two years without the Deputy CEO, therefore contravening the constitution.
Appearing before the committee permanent secretary in the ministry of presidential affairs, Ramodimooosi fumbled with answers when asked about the deteriorating state of PEEPA affairs.
He has been blasted by the committee for being negligent together with the minister not to realize that PEEPA has been breaking the law for a long time, although the agency is under the watch of the presidential affairs ministry.
Ramodimoosi has been directed to mount a strong monitoring on the PEEPA board and ensure that the board adhere to the constitution in particular clause 13.4.
Breaking the law
PEEPA board chairperson found herself between a rock and hard place for breaking the law by appointing illegal the current acting CEO, Ishmael Joseph hence violating the constitution.
It has emerged that the appointment of the acting CEO is not legal as the constitution of PEEPA indicates that the board shall appoint the Deputy CEO on the absence of CEO to act and not any officer.
Committee chairperson Pius Mokgware took PEEPA board chairperson to account on why the agency has been operative without the CEO for two years upon the dismissal of former Deputy CEO, Colleen Tiny Neo Diswai.
PEEPA 13.4 clause on powers of the board stipulates: “The Board shall appoint Chief Executive Officer, who shall also appoint the Deputy Chief Executive Officer to act on the absence of the CEO,”.
Responding to the questioning, Kgatlwane noted that the board took the decision tom appoint Ishmael as the acting CEO due to his capabilities, being cautioned of not making appointments outside the provisions of the constitution.
Phenyo Butale took swipe to the PEEPA board for failing to honour its constitutional guidelines hence describing its appointments to be arising from favoritism or internal disputes.
Kgatlwane has vowed to ensure that the board will appoint an interim deputy CEO in a near future with the monitoring of the ministry as the committee has ordered.
“We have made errors and the board will correct the mistakes. The board will exercise the provisions of the constitution and make relevant appointments,” she said making assurance to the furious committee.
Diswai protest dismissal
The committee has learnt from Kgwatlwane that former Deputy CEO Colleen Diswai has lodged a court case against PEEPA challenging for unfair dismissal by the former board that came before the current one.
Kgwatlwane revealed when quizzed on what is delaying in filling the vacant deputy CEO vacancy adding that it because of the lingering matter before the courts filed by the former.
“The deputy CEO post has been vacant since September 2017 up to date. And the board couldn’t make appointment because of the court case that we still have against the former deputy CEO. We decided to wait for the closure of the court case then we could appoint,” she added.
Ndaba Gaolathe has also cautioned the board not to ever make assumptions on the provisions of the constitution as it comes clearly out that it has been the order of the day by the board.
He said this prompts the board to make rush appointments without seeking proper remedy or guidance from the constitution.