Permanent senior DoD staff – including DefSec – still to be appointed

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Thandi Modise’s Defence Ministry is currently short of six senior staffers with the offices of the Secretary for Defence (SecDef) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) either empty or filled by acting personnel.

Other vacant posts at the Department of Defence (DoD) and the State-owned defence and security materiel agency Armscor, came to light thanks to a Parliamentary question posed by Thabo Mmutle, an ANC (African National Congress) member of both Parliament’s defence oversight committees.

The DefSec suite of offices in the Armscor building has been occupied by DoD policy and planning chief, Thobekile Gamede, as acting since the mid-December departure of Gladys Kudjoe. At that time Ministerial spokesperson Cornelius Monama said the process to replace Kudjoe was “in motion”.

In a reply dated 11 April, Mmutle was told by Modise following “completion and upgrading of job profiles the senior vacant positions in the DoD – Secretary for Defence and Chief Financial Officer – will be posted”.

Other senior DoD positions either vacant or filled by acting appointments at present are Chief Defence Material (C Def Mat), Chief Director(ate) International Affairs (COIA), Chief Director(ate) Legal Services (COLS), and Chief Audit Executive (GAE) according to the Ministerial reply. It further notes submissions were made to the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) “but there was a disagreement about rank levels”. DoD and DPSA are “working on the topic”.

Mmutle also asked Modise about vacant Armscor director posts and was told there are presently (as of April 2023) three vacancies.

“The Ministry and Armscor intend to fill these vacant positions as soon as possible, but no later than the conclusion of the first quarter of the current fiscal year, which begins on 1 April, 2023,” part of her written response reads.

As far as vacancies at the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) are concerned, he was informed “senior empty jobs have been re-advertised because the period in which they were advertised had since lapsed without any acceptable candidates being selected (sic)”.