Public service and administration minister Faith Muthambi has hired over 27 support staff members since taking office in May — allegedly without job ads or interviews, according to a report by the Sunday Times.
The report has emerged just days before Muthambi is set to appear before parliament to explain flying 30 friends and family members to Cape Town for her budget speech at a cost of R500,000.
According to the report, the majority of her office is also staffed with friends and relatives. These include uncles and cousins, who have been hired as drivers, deputy directors and even a “food services aide” — all allegedly without following due process.
The 27 hires far surpasses the ministerial handbook provision, which allows a minister to appoint only 10 people for various functions, plus two advisers.
However, this is not the first time Muthambi has faced allegations of nepotisim.
In her previous post as communications minister, Muthambi employed 15 support staff in her office. In comparison, the current communications minister Ayanda Dlodlo has six.
Muthambi — whose department is tasked with ensuring norms and standards for government officials and promoting ethical service to citizens — has also been accused by some of her staff of blowing R3 million on four community outreach programmes, which they labelled a “complete waste of public funds”, noted the Sunday Times.
“Public funds meant to be used to improve the lives of our people were used to entertain Muthambi’s family and friends,” a source said.
“She is doing all of this without any shame or remorse because she is politically connected.”
You can read the full story in today’s copy of the Sunday Times.