PSC finds appointment of Department of Public Works CFO irregular

PSC continues to investigate Cox Mokgoro's appointment and practices within the Department of Public Works.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) presented its provisional report to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) stating that they have found irregularities in the secondment of Cox Mokgoro as the CFO of the Department of Public Works, the custodian and manager of the national governments’ fixed assets. 

The secondment came from the Independent Development Trust (IDT), where Cox was never an employee. The PSC report says that this is in violation of the Public Service Act, the Public Finance Management Act and the constitutional values of clean governance and ethical conduct in the public service. 

Honey Cloud Enterprises managed Cox’s secondment from the IDT, but Cox is the sole director and employee of the company, and as a civil servant, is not allowed to trade with the state. The PSC believes that this process was an effort to circumvent the regulatory framework related to secondments. 

Former public works minister Nathi Nhleko and current public works minister Thulas Nxesi both signed the employment contract approving Cox’s secondment “retrospectively”.

Cox had been receiving irregular remuneration for a government CFO, an annual package of more than R2.2 million, and yearly salary increases of 7% while other employees received an average increase of 5%.

"No justification existed for awarding a higher percentage cost-of-living adjustment to Mr Mokgoro that determined by the minister of public service and administration for members in the senior management service‚" said PSC director-general Dr Dovhani Mamphiswana.

All contracts signed off by Cox are being investigated. 

PSC is also investigating whether Cox’s appointment was an isolated case of misconduct, or if there had been more like it in the department.