Millions spent on duplication of Bhisho job

Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle. Picture: TMG
Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle. Picture: TMG

Single communications post filled by two people earning huge salaries

Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle’s office hired two spin doctors – costing taxpayers an additional salary of more than R2.2-million over the past two years – despite having advertised for only one position.

Now Masualle has launched an inquiry into how he ended up with two.

This is despite the fact that he has been aware of their existence since the two – Nomfanelo Kota and Mandisa Titi – were hired in 2014.

Alarm bells were rung earlier this year when premier office portfolio committee chairman Sicelo Gqobana raised concerns about additional staff members in the highest office in the province.

He realised these were over and above laid-down prescripts.

The position of general manager for provincial communications was advertised in 2013.

While the R1.1-million a-year post required one suitable qualified candidate, two appointment letters were issued for R1.1-million each – to Kota and Titi.

Times Media has been reliably informed that of the two, it was only Titi who had applied for the position.

Kota, who did not have the required qualifications, was appointed without having applied for the post.

However, interview panel chairman and premier’s office deputy director-general Mahlubandile Qwase allowed her to be interviewed and she did well.

A source said that both Titi and Kota had been appointed to the one post.

Kota is an experienced communicator, having been a spokeswoman for the Department of International Relations.

She also spent several years in South Africa’s mission to the UN in New York.

Questions were sent to both Qwase and Titi, but the reply came from Titi who is the official spokeswoman for the office of the premier.

In her response, Titi said the matter had previously been reported on.

Times Media contacted provincial government spokesman Sizwe Kupelo.

He said the matter had been referred to the relevant director-general.

Asked to comment, Kota said it would be irregular for her to speak.

Another source said when Titi and Kota first reported for duty in 2014, Qwase had read them the riot act.

It was then decided that Kota would serve as government spokeswoman and adviser to incoming premier Masualle.

Masualle was said to have arrived at his office two months later with his own staff.

Kota was then appointed to a level 11 media liaison post with additional responsibilities to justify the R1.1-million per annum post.

“However, she remains unhappy as she is not doing the work she received a letter of appointment for,” a source said.

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