Question NW3380 to the Minister of Health

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23 September 2015 - NW3380

Profile picture: James, Dr WG

James, Dr WG to ask the Minister of Health

(1)What is the estimated timeline for the appointment of a permanent chief executive officer (CEO) for the National Health Laboratory Service; (2) whether a certain official of his department (name and details furnished) was or is in any way involved with the appointment process; if so, what is the extent of the specified official’s involvement; (3) whether the specified official (a) attended any of the interviews for the vacant CEO position and/or (b) gave any instruction to the selection interview panel; if so, (i) why and (ii) what are the relevant details?


1.  Ms. Joyce Mogale was appointed as the full-time CEO of the NHLS on the 28th of August 2015.

2.  Three officials were involved with the recruitment process, namely Mr Andre Venter and Dr Devanand Moonasar – in their capacity as Members of the Board of the NHLS, and Ms Malebone Precious Matsoso in her capacity as an independent technical expert;

3.  Ms. Matsoso attended the second round of interviews, but provided no instruction to the Selection Panel. Ms. Matsoso as the Director-General: Health did not participate in any discussion or process that resulted in a preferred candidate being identified.

The process of appointing the CEO of the NHLS was as follows:

The NHLS placed an advert in the Mail and Guardian for a CEO on a 5-year contract in November 2015. The NHLS board determined that a selection panel would oversee the recruitment process, from the short-listing through to interviews and making a recommendation to the NHLS board on a preferred candidate. Mr. Andre Venter as the chair of the Finance Committee of the NHLS and a NHLS Board member was appointed as a member of the selection panel.

Both Mr. Venter and Dr Moonasar participated in the shortlisting process. During the shortlisting 8 candidates were identified as meeting the requirements as advertised.

A first round of interviews was conducted. The panel established constituted the selection panel as well as any other board members who were available. Both Mr. Venter and Dr Moonasar participated in the first round of interviews.

The result of the first round of interviews was that the top 4 candidates were called in for a second round of interviews. In addition to the selection panel members, any NHLS board member who was available was invited to participate in the interviews.

In the second round, the Director-General: Health (Ms MP Matsoso) was the only official from the NDOH that participated. Mr Venter (due to ill health) and Dr Moonasar (prior commitments) did not attend.

Ms Matsoso’s role was only to provide an external assessment of the candidates, and upon completion of the interviews she excused herself from the process. The Selection panel, after the departure of Ms Matsoso, consolidated the scores of each candidate.

The selection panel made a recommendation to the NHLS Board, that the top 2 candidates are subject to a proficiency assessment. Following which, a teleconference was convened to inform all those present during the second round interviews of the outcome of the proficiency testing. Ms Matsoso and Mr. Venter participated in this teleconference.

Following the disclosure of the results of the proficiency test, Ms. Matsoso informed the NHLS chairperson, that her role was complete and asked to be excused. The Chairperson thanked Ms Matsoso for her contribution and confirmed that she was excused. Once Ms Matsoso was excused, the selection panel deliberated on the interview and proficiency results. A recommendation was then drafted and tabled to the NHLS board at the meeting held on the 29th of July 2015. Mr. Venter participated in the in drafting of the recommendation.

The NHLS board mandated the NHLS Chairperson to inform the Minister of Health of the outcome of the selection process. Both Mr. Venter and Dr Moonasar participated in the Board meeting in their capacity as Board Members of the NHLS.

The Minister of Health duly noted the outcome and was satisfied that the Board had followed a fair and rigorous process. As such, the Minister supported the recommendation of the NHLS Board to appoint Ms. Mogale as the CEO of the NHLS on a 5-year contract.


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