South Africa, Johannesburg – The EFF has taken aim at Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel, calling on the portfolio committee on trade and industry to start its own process of searching for the chairperson of the National Lotteries Commission without Patel’s “capture”.
Last week, The Star revealed that Patel was mushrooming former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas to the position of NLC chairman even though Jonas had not formally applied.
Sources inside the EFF in Parliament revealed to The Star that Patel had shortlisted former public protector Thuli Madonsela, former Unisa vice-chancellor Barney Pityana, and ANC 101 Veterans member Frank Chikane. Appointing a board member for the NLC is the responsibility of Parliament.
The party made this demand to committee chairperson Duma Nkosi in a letter penned by its chief whip, Floyd Shivambu.
In his letter, Shivambu said the process underway initiated by Patel was fraudulent and illegal.
“The minister has used his self-appointed ‘ independent shortlisting panel’ to shortlist three persons out of 43 nominated persons,” he said.
Shivambu charged that the Lotteries Act made no mention of any “independent shortlisting panel”, nor did it give Patel discretion to appoint one.
“Any process by the portfolio committee on trade and industry based on the shortlisted names by the minister’s panel will amount to fraud, corruption, and irregular appointment process.
“In the past, the shortlisting and interviews for board chairpersons were done by the relevant parliamentary committee,” he said.
Shivambu also said for the committee to undertake a legitimate process that was transparent, a list of all nominated persons for the position of chairperson of the National Lotteries Commission should be made available to the committee.
“The committee must shortlist its candidates to interview and should conduct interviews through an open and transparent process.
“The committee must prepare a report for consideration by the National Assembly and the report must be adopted through normal processes of the National Assembly,” he said.
“The minister’s list of shortlisted persons should be discarded, and the committee should conduct its own process as per the legislation,” he said.
Nkosi could not be reached for comment.
Patel’s spokesperson, Sidwell Medupe said the department disputed Shivambu’s assertions.
“A very clear process, open and transparent, has been followed to shortlist in accordance with the act.
“Those shortlisted have now been submitted to Parliament for the recommendation in accordance with the act. This is consistent with processes followed in the prior appointments of chairperson of the National Lotteries Commission,” Medupe said.