Cadre deployment with a vengeance: Chapter 10 institution compromised

Issued by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration
06 Jun 2023 in News

The Democratic Alliance (DA) firmly opposes the appointment of Mr. Errol Vincent Magerman as Commissioner of the Public Service Commission (PSC). The appointment will be another instance of flagrant cadre deployment by the ruling party. We urgently call on the President to reject his recommendation as a suitable candidate for commissioner.

The PSC, as a knowledge-based institution, plays a critical role in upholding the constitutional values and principles of public administration within the public service. Therefore, it is essential that the individual appointed to lead this commission possesses the necessary qualifications and competence which Magerman does not. Mr. Magerman failed to meet the basic criteria agreed upon by the sub-committee.

During the interview process there were better candidates than Mr. Magerman. In fact, he ranked among the poorest-performing candidates.

He did not demonstrate extensive knowledge and understanding of the public service and the PSC, which is a fundamental requirement for this role. Furthermore, his lack of appropriate and relevant work experience is evident, as he has primarily been employed by the ANC throughout his adult working life and this is revealed in his curriculum vitae.

Mr. Magerman’s ill-conceived appointment stems from the absence of clear requirements for the position of national commissioner at the PSC in the Constitution and the Public Service Commission Act. This legislative gap has left the sub-committee responsible for recommending a candidate with significant discretion and opened the door for ANC cadre deployment.

The PSC needs to be staffed by competent, experienced, and qualified individuals who actively contribute to its existing knowledge base. It is imperative that the independence and impartiality of the PSC are upheld by appointing individuals who meet these criteria.

We also call on the Minister of Public Service and Administration to address this issue by including provisions on minimum qualifications, skills, and work experience for commissioners in the forthcoming PSC Bill. Such provisions will ensure that only qualified, skilled, and experienced individuals are recommended for this senior position within the Commission, considering the significant annual salary it commands. Failure to implement these provisions will perpetuate a situation where recommendations for the PSC commissioner are left to an ANC-dominated sub-committee whose primary mandate is to deploy cadres seeking positions in the PSC.

The DA remains committed to safeguarding the integrity and effectiveness of the PSC and, therefore, rejects Mr. Magerman’s appointment as Commissioner. We urge the Minister to take immediate action to rectify the current situation and ensure that the PSC is led by a capable and qualified individual who can fulfill its crucial mandate.

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