A Public Protector report issued this week found that National Treasury director-general, Dondo Mogajane, previously had a “negative credit record”.
This is because in 2011 there was a judgment against him for the amount of R4 570.
“The pre-employment screening also stated that the inability of a person to manage his or her finances could pose a security risk,” a report issued by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found.
Mogajane was appointed director-general in June last year.
The same report, issued on Wednesday, said that Mogajane was found guilty of contravening the Road Traffic Act in Kempton Park in 2011 by engaging in “reckless and negligent driving”.
Treasury said on Thursday that Mogajane had criminal record in 2011 due to a speeding fine.
Mogajane also noted the announcement of the findings by the Public Protector in the disclosure of his criminal record, the government department added.
“The criminal record arose from a payment of an admission of guilt fine in 2011 after Mogajane was caught speeding,” Treasury added.
The complaint against Mogajane was lodged anonymously in August 2017.
As part of his application to be Treasury director-general, he had to answer an application form which had a question about whether he had been convicted of a criminal offence.
He indicated that he had not.
Mogajane did not discharge his duty towards his employer, the Public Protector added.
“He did not disclose this criminal record in his application for the director-general position during 2015 and after being made aware of the criminal record in 2015, he acted dishonestly in his application for the position of director-general in 2017,” the report added.
Mkhwebane instructed President Cyril Ramaphosa to take “appropriate disciplinary action against” Mogajane.
Given the duties and responsibilities of Mogajane’s position, especially that of looking after the South African fiscus with an annual budget of R1.67 trillion, honesty and integrity were “paramount to the execution of duties by the director-general of the National Treasury”, Mkhwebane said.
In a letter, dated April 5 this year, the finance minister at the time, Nhlanhla Nene, said that: “I would like to re-emphasise that there has never been any intention on Mogajane’s part to withhold any information in this regard”.
In response to the Public Protector, Mogajane said that when he had applied for the position of National Treasury deputy director-general in 2014, he was unaware that he had a criminal record.
“Mogajane asserted that he only became aware of his criminal record after this interview for the position of deputy director-general, when the head of security of National Treasury, Faith Leeuw, brought it to his attention,” the Public Protector said.
The watchdog said in its report that Mogajane did not fill in the application form himself but a divisional head did.
“Mogajane acknowledged that he ought to have checked the application form for accuracy prior to signing it, but failed to do so. He, however, asserted that he had no intention to mislead the National Treasury, Cabinet or anyone else with regard to the criminal record,” Mkhwebane’s report added.
“I cannot accept Mogajane’s version as reasonable that he was not unaware that he had a criminal record because he had paid an admission of guilt fine in 2011,” the report concluded.