EAAB - why was Chaplog appointed?

The acting chief executive officer of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), Bryan Chaplog, was appointed as the EAAB’s chief financial officer even though he had several judgements against him by various financial institutions.

The judgements are related to property in the Western Cape and Pretoria.

It’s understood that Chaplog was appointed by sacked former EAAB CEO Nomonde Mapetla.

Asked to comment on the judgements and the fact that Chaplog held a senior position in the organisation, requiring input from him of a financial nature, EAAB spokesperson Margie Campbell said his credit and/or financial records were disclosed at the time of his appointment.

Campbell said: “The financial controls within the EAAB are as such that there are adequate segregation of duties regarding decisions and payments which is all done through our exco, and all within compliance of the EAAB policies and procedures and certainly not centred around only one individual.”

She further stated that Chaplog had been vetted and recommended by a reputable head hunting employment agency that had done the necessary credit checks with Chaplog’s consent. “All of that was taken into account before he was appointed,” Campbell added.

She said Chaplog had complied with legislation in terms of the recruitment process by disclosing the information in question before his appointment to the EAAB.

The EAAB board removed Chaplog and the company secretary Nkululeko Ndebele in July. Both have since been reinstated.

Chaplog did not respond to a request to comment.

After a slew of EAAB board member resignations, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale on July 31 2012 placed the EAAB under administration and dissolved the board of directors. He also tasked the special investigating unit with probing allegations of fraud and corruption.

Sexwale had strong words for the agency, saying management, in particular, would come under scrutiny during a clean-up of the organisation.

Managing Director of Ethics Monitoring and Management Services Cynthia Schoeman, says given the regularity of ethical scandals and the high cost that flow from them, it is no longer enough to appoint people for their skills only but also for their integrity and values.

Schoeman says it is imperative that employers do reference checks on prospective employees. She adds that the higher an individual is placed within an organisation, the greater the opportunity for misconduct. They are often trusted by virtue of their seniority.

Another factor is that more senior employees are generally more knowledgeable about systems in place and how they can be manipulated.

Schoeman says anyone in a position of trust with access to an organisation’s finances must be checked for any misdemeanours on their record. Should there be a mark against an individual’s name, a plausible explanation should be forthcoming. It could be the misdemeanour was due to a unique set of circumstances and is not necessarily a reflection of the person in the workplace.

She says if inappropriate behaviour is repeated alarm bells should be ringing, especially in cases where employees are required to handle finances.


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