S Africa's Zuma appoints head of anti-corruption police unit

South African President Jacob Zuma names head of corruption-busting Special Investigating Unit (SIU)

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Jacob Zuma has appointed head of anti-corruption body.

South African President Jacob Zuma, who faces an impeachment vote, on Tuesday named a private sector advocate with links to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to head the police's corruption-busting Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

Andy Mothibi is currently head of Legal, Governance, Risk and Compliance at Johannesburg-based healthcare services firm Medscheme.

Before that, he worked for nearly two years as head of Operational Risk Management at Standard Bank, Africa's biggest bank by assets, and served in the same role at Nedbank for nearly five years, according to his LinkedIn page.

Zuma faces a vote in parliament to impeach him after South Africa's top court ruled he had breached the constitution, though the motion - launched by the opposition Democratic Alliance - seems likely to fail since the African National Congress has given him the support he needs to survive.

Medscheme said Mothibi had also worked at the South African Revenue Service during which time he was "personally appointed" by Gordhan - then head of the tax service - as part of a team tasked with transforming the unit.

Mothibi was not available for comment.

Gordhan served as finance minister in Zuma's first term from 2009 to 2014 and returned to the post in December after Zuma unexpectedly fired Nhlanhla Nene and replaced him with David van Royen, a political unknown with little financial experience.

After a sharp drop in the rand and government bonds, he dismissed van Royen after four days and reappointed Gordhan, restoring a measure of calm to markets.

Since then, Gordhan has presented himself as a bulwark of good governance and probity, in contrast to the scandal-plagued Zuma.

According to its website, the principal functions of the SIU are to investigate serious malpractices, maladministration and corruption in connection with the administration of state institutions and to take appropriate action. 

TRTWorld, Reuters