Media Statement issued by the Public Service Commission: Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

01 March 2019

Today the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission (PSC) advised Mr S Zokwana, MP, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, that the PSC will conduct an investigation in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) following receipt of several complaints involving the DAFF, some of which had been brought to the attention of the Minister previously, e.g. the complaints of the Director-General, the Deputy Director-General: Fisheries and the complaints lodged by NEHAWU.

The Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa in the 2019 State of the Nation Address has also placed emphasis on the role of agriculture in our economy and the stimulus package in agriculture. South Africa therefore needs a DAFF that is fully functional and can support the vision of the President

Given the above and the recent engagements with the Minister, the Director-General and selected employees within the DAFF, and further complaints lodged with the PSC, the PSC has decided to conduct an investigation in the DAFF. The PSCs jurisdiction to conduct investigations and the existing enabling legislation governing such matters are outlined below:

a) Section 196(4) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, determines that the powers and functions of the PSC are, amongst others -
(b) The PSC must investigate, monitor and evaluate the organisation, administration and the personnel practices of the Public Service.
(f) either of its own accord or on receipt of any complaint-

(i) to investigate and evaluate the application of personnel and public administration practices, and to report to the relevant executive authority and legislature;
(ii) (not applicable);
(iii) to monitor and investigate adherence to applicable procedures in the Public Service;
(iv) advise national and provincial organs of state regarding personnel practices in the Public Service, including those relating to the recruitment, appointment, transfer, discharge and other aspects of the careers of employees in the Public Service.
b) In terms of the PSC Act , 1997, -
9. The Commission may inspect departments and other organisational components in the public service, and has access to such official documents or may obtain such information from heads of those departments or organisational components or from other officers in the service of those departments or organisational components as may be necessary for the performance of the functions of the Commission under the Constitution or the Public Service Act.

10.(1) The Commission may conduct an inquiry into any matter in respect of which it is authorised by the Constitution or the Public Service Act to perform any function.

(2) For the purposes of the inquiry, the Commission may
(a) summons any person who may be able to give information of material importance concerning the subject of the inquiry or who has in his or her possession or custody or under his or her control any book, document or object which may have a bearing on the subject of the inquiry, to appear before the Commission;

(b) call upon and administer an oath to, or accept an affirmation from, any person present at the inquiry who has or might have been summonsed in terms of paragraph (a);

(c) examine or require any person who has been called upon in terms of paragraph (a) to produce any book, document or object in his or her possession or custody or under his or her control which may have a bearing on the subject of the inquiry.
(3)
(4) Any person who
(a) has been duly summonsed under this section and who fails, without sufficient cause
(i) to attend at the time and place specified in the summons; or
(ii) to remain in attendance until excused by the Commission from further attendance;
(b) has been called upon in terms of subsection (2)(b) and who refuses to be sworn or to affirm as a witness; or
(c) fails, without sufficient cause
(i) to answer fully and satisfactorily any question lawfully put to him or her in terms of subsection (2)(c); or
(ii) to produce any book, document or object in his or her possession or custody or under his or her control which he or she was required to produce in terms of subsection (2)(c), shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
c) Section 13(1) of the PSC Act, 1997 provides for the delegation of the PSCs power of investigation to commissioners and officer[s].

The terms of reference of the investigation will be as follows:

  1. To assess the capacity of the DAFF to deliver on its Annual Performance Plan for the 2018/19 financial year, the Strategic Plan and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
  2. To assess the management of the career incidents of the Members of the Senior Management Service.
  3. To assess the efficient, economic and effective use of resources, emanating from complaints in relation to irregular expenditure.
  4. To assess the application of prevailing labour legislation in the handling of disciplinary cases in the DAFF in the past 12 months and the cost to the State.
  5. To assess the management of grievances and complaints in the DAFF.
  6. To establish the matters regarding the DAFF that have been reported to the law enforcement agencies and other independent bodies for investigation and the status of such investigations.
  7. Any other matter that may arise during the course of the investigation.

The PSCs Investigation Team will be led by Commissioner S Nkosi, assisted by the following employees:

  1. Mr M Malatsi, Deputy Director-General: Integrity and Anti-Corruption
  2. Ms R Bosch, Director: Complaints, Investigative Research and Advisory Services
  3. Mr V Skweyiya, Director: Forensic Investigations
  4. Adv S Makinde, Director: Litigation and Legal Services
  5. Mr F Hartzenberg, Deputy Director: Public Administration Investigations

The PSC will commence with the investigation immediately.

Issued by ADV RK Sizani, Chairperson of the Public Service Commission

For enquiries, please contact: Dr D Mamphiswana, the Director-General of the Office of the PSC, may be contacted regarding the investigation. His particulars are as follows:

Tel: 012 352 1025/ 082 261 8809
Email: connieg@opsc.gov.za or fieniev@opsc.gov.za  

National Anti-Corruption Hotline: 0800 701 701
 

 

 

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