The office of the Public Protector is assessing a complaint regarding the appointment of SA president Jacob Zuma’s youngest daughter to the department of telecoms.
In July Zuma’s daughter Thuthukile was appointed chief of staff at the department of telecommunications and postal services, with a reported salary of close to R1 million per annum.
Opposition parties, and the media, pointed to an act of nepotism; also noting that the position was never advertised; while highlighting her age – only 25 – and her apparent lack of experience for the position.
According to eNCA, the office of the Public Protector received a complaint about the posting, and is currently assessing whether or not public protector, Thuli Madonesela, would be investigating the matter.
“Once the assessment team has done its assessment of the complaint, it will be sent to her for a decision,” Madonsela’s spokeswoman, Kgalalelo Masibi, told eNCA.
The complaint reportedly questions the processes followed in the appointment, and whether Zuma has the required qualification for the position.
The telecoms department said that Zuma was hired after consideration was given to her capacity for the position.
“The minister only considered her capacity to do the job and her qualifications. Her genealogy was never a consideration,” the department said.
Thuthukile Zuma has an honours degree in anthropology from the University of the Witwatersrand and previously worked at the State Security Agency as a public liaison officer.
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.
The chief of staff post is seen as a very powerful position, with the incumbent responsible for the overall management of staff, and the office’s budget in the ministry.