Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: Gallo Images
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has cleared Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu of irregularity in appointing Paul Ngobeni, a fugitive from justice, as a special adviser.
Madonsela said an investigation confirmed that a warrant of arrest had been issued for Ngobeni after he failed to appear in court on various charges including forgery in the United States.
However, it was not Sisulu's fault that the departmental vetting process failed to detect this.
"The vetting process was not thorough enough because it failed to go beyond his word," said Madonsela. "The minister did not fail to comply with the relevant process."
Madonsela said the finding was "academic" as Ngobeni had since resigned.
The complaint was brought by Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier, who disagreed with Madonsela's finding.
"The fact is that the minister refused point blank to investigate the allegations against Paul Ngobeni, even when she was confronted with evidence that he was a fugitive from justice," he said.