Tuesday, June 28, 2011

South African Mafia Inside of UNDP, Algeria

“The South African Mafia” inside UNDP

You be the judge, face value intelligence - and a body count to boot.

Margarita Sarishvili

We all know the UN system is replete with ‘mafia’ from various nationalities. However within the small office that provides for the security of UNDP the South African Mafia has become so well entrenched that even if you lack the basic qualifications you can land yourself a nice L-4 post and make yourself a home, especially if you know the right people and of course come from the right country.

Let us talk specifics that can be easily verified. Certainly this must have been allowed to exist with the full knowledge of senior management, and where are these people today?

Mr. Leon Terblanche The former, recently dethroned P-5 Chief of the UNDP Security Unit was a South African with dual nationality in Canada. Mr. T managed to institutionalize himself as the Security Chief for several years even though he lacked any real security background. Mr. T. was a former South African military officer working in the engineers with military explosives and de-mining. He worked on several de-mining projects prior to getting the security post with the support of his friend ms. Janie McClusker of UNFPA.

Mr. T. was replaced only this past year after failing to compete for his own post, failing also in his diligent effort to re-align the post to a D1.  His one success as Chief was to successful dis-enfranchise the Security Unit from all of the other business units where he was seen by many as the ultimate dis-enabler for UNDP by how he managed the security office. Only when truly qualified candidates were allowed to apply, and following years of his poor management was he finally removed only to be exiled as the UN Security Officer for all of the UN in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

Jan A.B. (JAB) Swart A former colleague and engineer of Mr. Terblanche, Mr. Swart managed to have his friend create and hire him into the UNDP Security Unit. Again Mr. S. possessed no security background but was given a comfortable P-4 post. One hand washes the other, as Mr. S. had previously given Mr. T. a post when working as a project manager with UNOPS, and so Mr. Swart assumed his P4 post. In Mr. T’s effort to re-align his post as a D1, he moved his friend Mr. S into an unofficial post as Deputy Security Chief and proposed that while he was made a D1 that Mr. S be made a P-5 in the process.

Mr. T. went so far as to have Mr. S. draft his own new Terms of Reference  (TOR) as Deputy Chief. But with the failure of Mr. T. to realize his dream of D1, Mr. S. re-thought and did not press for his post to be re-aligned. Once the realization of his failures became evident Mr. T. formally wrote in his friend JAB as his Deputy Security Chief although the post is entirely fictitious and appointed him in his stead as he prepared for his demoted repositioning to Belgrade.

Ah, it is indeed good to be King.

As Deputy Security Chief Mr. S. manages, if what he does can truly be called management, the important MOSS support funds for UNDP. Where have all the millions of dollars gone (over $11,000,000 so far) when our friends in Algeria worked from a non-compliant office and paid the ultimate price. Did Mr. S. do anything to ensure that adequate measures were in place? Did he authorize the finances to make the necessary changes? What about the other offices around the world? It is a lot of money Mr. S. how did you spend it? Did your good friend in Moldovia get his piece whilst Algeria sat at risk?

Carla Naude. Ms. Naude, is perhaps the best qualified of the South African Mafia although her portfolio is focused that of premises security. Ms. Mafiosa sits in a nice P4 post having no previous UN experience no field security experience and now finds herself responsible for covering Mr. S. as he tries to dodge the bullets for Algeria and the $11,000,000 of funds spent so far to ensure security compliance for our offices worldwide. The question becomes “Will she do it?” and what does she “owe” Mr. S. or his predecessor?

Mr. Scotty Saunders. Another friend of Mr. T. and Mr. S. This South African is the arrogant and undermining “Senior” Field Security Advisor for Iraq and as usual for the South African Mafia does not possess the required education or background to achieve such an important and well positioned post. He also serves as a nice L4. Maybe his on-line effort to gain the education he lacks will qualify him for a comfortable P5 or D1 in the future.

Mr. Johannes Vandermervwe. Mr. V not surprisingly comes from UNOPS where he worked on de-mining programmes. Having no security background apart from his years in the South African military as an engineer (certainly no pattern) it is understandable that he was the perfect selection for the coveted UNDP Regional Security Officer posted in Bangkok.

Mr. Vandermerve, with his wife having to depart her high-level job at UNOPS, where Mr.'s T., S. and V. worked on de-mining programmes together allowed Mr.'s S. and T. to repay Mr. and Ms. Vandermerve by not only selecting Mr. V for the Bangkok post but moreover lobbying for a raise from the normal basic pay for a new L4 and made sure that Mr. V was provided with a full 200 series contact with all of the benefits. This would not seem unusual until you realize that serving security staff in similar positions in the Arab States and African regions were not also provided the same level of contract and had to fight hard almost to the point of contract expiration to gain parity with Mr. V. It was certainly no problem for Mr.'s Terblanche and Swart to get their good friend and co-mafioso in with a nice raise and benefits above the non-South African's in the same positions.

Mr. Johann Poltgieter. Mr. P., another friend of Mr. Swart has managed to get posted as the Field Security Officer, L3 to UNDP in Israel the West Bank and Gaza, hired through the P.A.P.P. office. Of course it was nice that for this particular recruitment that the UNDP Security Office was not managing the recruitment like before and only guided the selection process since Mr. P. apparently was unsuccessful in several attempts to secure similar posts in UNDP elsewhere due to his lack of experience and failure in the interviews process. Possibly with guidance on how to answer the questions and how to address the questioning of the interview panel from Mr. Swart, and perhaps with even a little added influence as Mr. Swart repositioned the former Advisor for P.A.P.P. to Somalia, from L-3 to L-4, the new post for Mr. Poltgieter was realized.

So it is clear. Of six South Africans in the UNDP Security Office none have had the required security background training or experience that is normally required for these posts. The one at the top of the pile has been removed only to another security post outside of UNDP. The second in the line of succession remains in a fictitious unofficial post placing many of us at risk on a daily basis hoping for his coveted P-5 to materialize. The rest of the South African mafia remains in their posts quietly hoping for Mr. Swart to get promoted and continue the patronage process.

Mr. Swart as the Deputy Chief is responsible for all 'Field Support' which includes supporting the Regional Security Officers and security support to our country offices. Mr. S. even as a fictitious Deputy Chief has also apparently been granted rights to receive all of the risk reports from the department of safety and security. It would not take too much research to prove that Mr. Swart must have received the reports that indicated there was a threat against our colleague's offices in Algeria. Did his Regional Security Officer give Mr.Swart any indicators of the risk? With millions of dollars at his fingertips why didn't Mr. Swart use any to help Algeria prepare? Maybe something could have been done. Maybe someone should look at this. But that would mean that UNDP would really be trying to address the failures of Mr. T. and Mr. S. Maybe fewer of our friends in Algeria would have died, or none at all.

Over $11,000,000 has been spent to protect us but still the Algeria tragedy (bombing) occurs. Everyone seems to get a piece of this pie but where was poor Algeria? Who is next? And what about the family members of those who died for nothing?

It is comforting for the rest of us to now that UN reform and management in UNDP recognizes the value of retaining these uniquely qualified and well positioned staff fully aware of the value of properly addressing national balance after all South Africa is from the ‘South’ in terms of North & South balance. And of course we can all feel comfortable knowing that the Human Resources effort to place “the right people in the right places” includes selecting and assigning non-qualified un-trained and in-experienced managers and security officers to positions where they can provide for your security and protection. I am sure our friends in Algeria would have appreciated the effort as much as we do.

Who will the next bombing be blamed upon?

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