Mr CM Ramaphosa
President of the Republic of South Africa
Private Bag X1000

Dear Mr President

Allegations of political meddling by Minister Nzimande in merSETA acting CEO appointment

1. I had in the past raised with you the alleged interference of the political head of the Department of Higher Education and Training, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande, in that department’s administration and also in the management of the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs).

2. I had also raised the issue of political interference in the appointment of Mr Yershen Pillay as the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in a letter addressed to you dated 15 October 2020 – attached for your ease of reference. We never received your response to that letter.

3. Most recently I was approached by a concerned member of the Accounting Authority of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services SETA (merSETA) regarding the current situation around the appointment of an acting CEO of the merSETA. I attach the letter of concern I received for greater context.

4. The Accounting Authority had appointed an internal candidate as the acting CEO of the merSETA who has by all accounts been doing a sterling job.

5. What has now come to my attention is that Dr Nzimande is again up to his old habits of interfering in the business of the SETAs, and he has set aside the merSETA Accounting Authority’s decision and has appointed former Young Communist League chairperson, Mr Yershen Pillay, of the 15 October letter fame, to the position of acting merSETA CEO.

6. It is clear that Dr Nzimande is still pulling the strings of the SETAs and ruling his personal political empire from on high.

7. We again make you aware of this matter and the issues raised previously in the hope that you will recognise the folly of having Dr Nzimande continue on his current trajectory of ruining higher education in South Africa.

8. I reiterate the United Democratic Movement’s position that we will persist in raising issues of national importance with you, in line with your cause to rid government of corruption.

Yours sincerely

Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
President of the United Democratic Movement