Public service and administration minister, Collins Chabane, has defended the appointment of Thuthukile Zuma, the daughter of President Jacob Zuma, to the position of chief of staff at the department of telecommunications and postal services at the age of 25.
The Mail & Guardian reported on Friday that Zuma “may have made history as South Africa’s youngest head of a minister’s office”, and will earn almost R1 million a year.
Further, “it appears the post was never advertised”.
In an interview on Monday morning on Talk Radio 702, Chabane said that telecommunications and postal services minister, Siyabonga Cwele’s, office is a private office.
“If the minister is comfortable, and the department feels comfortable, I think they should be able to proceed.”
Chabane said that he wasn’t suggesting that people should like the appointment, paid for by tax paying South Africans, adding: “I don’t think there has been a rule which has been broken.”
Of the R1 million annual salary for Zuma, Chabane said it was a moral issue, not a legal one.
“The appointment itself, and the legal procedures themselves, they are most likely to be correct,” Chabane said, adding that, legally speaking, the minister is entitled to appoint a person in the manner in which he did.
Thuthukile Zuma reportedly previously worked with Cwele at the State Security Agency, following him to her new post after the May elections.
Thuthukile Zuma has an honours degree in anthropology from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Qoza said the department’s human resource management unit had given assurances that there had been no complaints about her appointment.
According to the 2014 Estimates of National Expenditure, the chief of staff will manage a R4.1m budget in the telecommunications and postal services ministry.
Reporting with Sapa
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