Govt payouts in the spotlight after Nxasana's R17m

Former NPA head Mxolisi Nxasana is getting over R17 million to walk away from the prosecutions body.

Former NPA head Mxolisi Nxasana. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The practice of giving people large payouts to leave their government departments or parastatals is in the spotlight again after confirmation that former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Mxolisi Nxasana is getting over R17 million to leave the prosecutions body.

Over the last few weeks, two senior executives also received payouts to leave Eskom while former Hawks head Anwa Dramat also received money to leave the crime fighting unit.

Nxasana's payout is thought to be the highest yet after Dali Mpofu was paid over R14 million to leave the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in 2009.

Political analyst Professor Steven Friedman on Wednesday said there's a simple answer to why this keeps happening.

"The public is being forced to pay for factional battles within government. What tends to happen is that people get appointed, there's then political rivalry which ends up with them being asked to leave."

While economist Azar Jammine said taxpayers are already frustrated with government.

"They're seeing their valuably earned income being fritted away in terms of these large payouts."

Meanwhile, the secretary to the inquiry planned into Nxasana's fitness for office said their budget was never finalised, and thus it's hard to know if that inquiry could have been cheaper than the former NPA boss's final payout.