A month into his new office, in September 2017, North West social development MEC Hoffman Galeng made a pointed speech in which he warned young girls to be wary of “blessers”.
But Galeng has now been accused of blessing the support staff in his office with exorbitant salaries way above their job grades, including his personal assistant, receptionist, driver and cleaner.
According to a complaint memo written by Chief Director of Cooperate Services in the department, Itumeleng Mogorosi, dated 19 January 2018, he had been under pressure to appoint Galeng’s personal assistant Petunia Selebogo at salary level 12 – which meant that she would earn an income equivalent to that of a deputy director.
Galeng’s driver Gilbert Mogotsi and receptionist Dimpoetse Tshose were recommended for a salary level 8, just one grade below an assistant director.
Cleaner Lesego Kenalemang was placed at level 6, which is one grade below the chief administration clerk.
In terms of the benchmark job descriptions and grading levels developed the Minister for the Public Service and Administration, personal assistants are benchmarked at salary grade 7, drivers at grade 4 and cleaners at grade 2, according to the department.
But Galeng told City Press that Mogorosi was central in the salary arrangements.
“All those people agreed with him. They went to him to provide proof of their earnings at the previous job and he advised them that there is no problem because adjustments were allowed between the entry level notch and the highest notch”.
He said Mogorosi even adviced that the previous manager in the office of the MEC had earned the equivalent of an entry level salary for a chief director because of the adjustments.
“I also knew that it was not unlawful,” he said.
Galeng accused Mogorosi of singling out a few staff members when in fact “up to 50 others in the department have similar salary arrangements that have been maintained for years”.
“If it is unlawful, why did he not challenge the salaries of the many of the staff members that have been there for years,” he asked.
Mogorosi said in a whistleblowing report titled: “SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: A case of abuse of state power and Executive interference in administration,” that did not agree with the reasons advanced for the unusual hefty salaries of support staff.
Regarding Selebogo, he said the reason provided was that she was previously “serving in the office of the Chief Whip in the Legislature prior to her appointment as PA to the MEC [and that] she has requisite knowledge, skills and competencies relevant to the post”.
Mogotsi was also “serving in the office of the Chief Whip, North West Provincial Legislature, as a Messenger/Driver of the Chief Whip and his salary level was higher than what is provided for in the entry notch of salary level 8”.
Galeng said Mogorosi was facing disciplinary hearing on various offences that he could not disclose until a charge sheet was served to him.