Johannesburg – The daughter of South Africa’s Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu has landed herself a top job at the police’s watchdog body – apparently without having the required qualifications and experience.
On Tuesday, Boniwe Sotyu was appointed to the position of deputy director of investigations in the Free State provincial office of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).
The ministry of police has oversight of Ipid.
Confidential appointment documents in City Press’ possession reveal that Sotyu was given the job ahead of 90 other candidates.
Of the seven short-listed candidates, one had more than 22 years’ experience as a police officer and joined Ipid as a principal investigator.
Another candidate she pipped to the post was the Free State’s principal investigator – who had received six awards for his work – and yet another was an investigator with a law degree.
Sotyu, who only has three years and four months’ relevant experience, has an allegedly unrecognised national diploma in policing, believed to be from the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority.
According to the advertisement for the job that appeared in a Sunday newspaper on March 29, the position required a relevant bachelor’s degree or a diploma in law or policing, at least four years’ experience in management of criminal investigations, project management and an “essential” “thorough knowledge and understanding of criminal law, criminal procedure and law of evidence”.
However, a summary of Sotyu’s interview reveals that she began her career as a case analyst at Ipid’s predecessor organisation, the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), and at the time of the interview was “serving under the monitoring and evaluation unit, where she checks compliance with the standard operating procedures”.
Nowhere is it stated that she had ever investigated cases or held any management position for the required four years.
Nevertheless, the interviewing panel, which consisted of four senior Ipid managers, still decided she was the top candidate for the job. Ipid’s acting chief director of corporate services, Nomkhosi Netsianda, however, recommended that Sotyu not be appointed to the position.
In a document in City Press’ possession, Netsianda wrote that Sotyu’s “national diploma is not the equivalent of a recognised national diploma or degree, she does not have four years’ experience at supervisory level managing investigations as advertised” and had less than two years’ experience as a supervisor.
Despite this, acting Ipid head Israel Kgamanyane confirmed Sotyu’s appointment on Tuesday, saying he was happy that she was suitably qualified.
Ipid spokesperson Grace Langa said Sotyu’s appointment was “done in a transparent manner” and “in line with Ipid policy on recruitment and selection, which is guided by public service regulations”.
“We would like to encourage that if there is any person who alleges any wrongdoing or is not satisfied with the process or appointment of Ms Boniwe Sotyu to please report the matter to the relevant authorities and Ipid will cooperate with the investigation.”
Langa said the deputy police minister had no say in her daughter’s recruitment process or the selection of any other Ipid staff member because she played no role in Ipid operations.
“The decision to appoint resides solely with the accounting officer of the department, which in this case will be the acting executive director, Mr Kgamanyane,” she said.
Asked for comment yesterday, Minister Sotyu said: “I don’t work for Ipid and I have nothing to do with their appointments.”
However, two senior Ipid sources who were close to the appointment process and so could not have their identities revealed told City Press that questions were raised regarding Sotyu’s policing diploma, which they alleged was not recognised by the SA Qualifications Authority.
The two added that in their view the appointment was aimed at pleasing the deputy minister, to whom – along with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa – the Ipid leadership reports.
As the new deputy director of investigations, Sotyu will receive an annual salary of R532 270. Documents indicate that her salary will be backdated to June 1.