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ARTICLE: ARE THE APPOINTMENT MERRY-GO-ROUND AND TOO MANY VACANCIES IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE TO ANYONE’S BENEFIT?

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The South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) recently published a report that clearly shows that there has been an unprecedentedly high interchange of Cabinet Ministers and Directors-General since 2009 under President Zuma. Accordingly, the average length of a Cabinet Minister’s term was 8.5 months, and that of a Director-General (DG) 22 months. Sixty percent of working relationships between Ministers and DGs lasted only 12 months and 40% of them included an acting DG.

A concrete example of this (albeit at a lower level than DG) has also emerged recently. After the then head of Crime Intelligence, Mulangi Mphego, was forced to resign in 2009 for allegations that he interfered with witnesses in the Selebi case, he was succeeded by the now-notorious Richard Mdluli. After the latter’s departure, King Bhoyi Ngcobo was appointed acting head. After him, Pat Mokushane was appointed, but he was recently fired because he had no security clearance (only in South Africa!). Now the fifth head in eight years has been appointed for this important post – again Ngcobo (who was part of President Zuma’s Protection Unit).

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