Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane told reporters on Thursday that she directed the Financial Sector Conduct Authority to take “corrective action” against former executive director Dube Tshidi after she found he misled Parliament and used his position to protect a compromised curator.
Mkhwebane probed a string of allegations by Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema against Tshidi, including that he improperly appointed Anthony Mostert as a curator at the FSCA when it was still called the Financial Services Board.
Malema’s complaint, sent to the office of the Public Protector in April of 2017, said Mostert was paid R188m in curator fees through a firm which also administered pension funds placed under curatorship. According to the complaint, he was also paid a further R48m in legal fees.
Malema’s complaint further alleges that Tshidi lied to Parliament and threatened to withdraw financial institutions operating licenses to protect Mostert.
Malema lays blame at Tshidi’s feet for the loss of R100m in South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union pension funds.
Briefing reporters in Pretoria, Mkhwebane said Malema’s allegation that there were improprieties in Tshidi’s nomination of curators was substantiated.
“The conduct of the former executive officer constitutes improper conduct as envisaged in section 182(1) of the Constitution and maladministration as envisaged in section 6(4)(a)(i) of the Public Protector Act,” said Mkhwebane.
Mkhwebane said while at the FSB, Tshidi filed to discharge his regulatory duty to properly manage the possible or perceived conflict of interest between Mostert’s role as curator and the appointment of his law firm to assist in the administration of pension funds under curatorship.
Mkhwebane gave the FSCA 90 days to appoint curators competitively and transparently and to develop a sound policy to do so. She gave the FSCA 30 days to act against Tshidi and Mostert.