FINANCE Minister Pravin Gordhan yesterday defended the appointment of Mo Shaik as the CEO of the new international division of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), saying proper procedures had been followed, and that he supported the appointment.
On Wednesday, Democratic Alliance finance spokesman Tim Harris said he would ask Mr Gordhan to explain Mr Shaik’s appointment, adding that the public deserved assurances that the appointment was not in fact political deployment.
Mr Harris said he would ask whether Mr Shaik’s qualifications and experience satisfied the criteria for the position in which he will manage R7.42bn worth of investments in the South African Development Community.
Mr Shaik’s previous experience includes being an African National Congress intelligence operative, a diplomat, and chief of the intelligence service under President Jacob Zuma.
Mr Gordhan said the chairman of the DBSA board, Jabu Moleketi, and a committee of the board responsible for the appointment, had informed him of their decision, and that he believed due process had been followed.
Mr Shaik’s appointment follows an internal advertisement within the bank, and the involvement of an external executive head-hunting agency. Nine candidates were identified, of whom four were short-listed.
This had been reduced to two candidates after the interviews, and Mr Shaik was later rated as the best fit for the position, said Mr Gordhan. He said Mr Shaik had displayed strong analytical skills and a "deep" understanding of national priorities. "Mr Shaik’s lack of experience in running a commercial enterprise is made up for by his recent training at the Harvard Business School," said Mr Gordhan.
This training had also raised eyebrows amid suggestions that he had already been earmarked for the position at the DBSA, hence the R100,000 three-month course at the business school.
Mr Shaik had responded by saying: "I structured my exit package (from the secret service) in this way, in favour of self-skilling, all of which is within policy."
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