SA Commission appoints mergers head; claims roster of “core” positions now filled

New head of mergers fills final “core” position according to Bonakele; replaces Ramburuth-appointed predecessor

Source: LinkedIn
New head of mergers at SA Competition Commission (Source: LinkedIn)

Following the by now fairly predictable fault lines of the Ramburuth-vs.-[others] staffing game at the Competition Commission, the agency’s crucial Mergers & Acquisitions division now also has a new head.  As of March 1, Hardin Ratshisusu is filling the post of Divisional Manager, after his predecessor Ibrahim Bah‘s departure in December last year created a three-month hiatus.

Bah, having worked at the Irish antitrust regulator for a while*, had been with the South African authority on-and-off since 2008, but had been Divisional Manager only for less than a year, holding the post since January 2013.  His successor Ratshisusu is likewise a former M&A veteran of the agency, having begun his career at the Commission as early as 2004 and with the division since December 2007 as a Senior Merger Analyst.  He also has recent private-practice experience outside government, which we view as a welcome feature on his C.V., in addition to his historical M&A expertise.

Mr. Ratshisusu’s self-description on his LinkedIn profile (with 22 endorsements from others as to M&A) is as follows:

“In the formative years, I started off as an enumerator for SA’s 2001 Census and then a research assistant at the University of Venda, whilst doing my post-graduate studies. I have since worked in the regulatory environment having held various positions at the Competition Commission of South Africa including being Senior Merger Analyst, Acting Divisional Manager of the Mergers and Acquisitions Division and Technical Consultant/Adviser to the Deputy Commissioner. I also had a stint in the economic regulatory division of Neotel (Pty) Ltd. This has given me exposure to a number of industries, including, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, mining, chemicals, retailing and property. I now have expertise, garnered at both operation and strategic levels, in competition and regulatory economics, strategy, and governance.”

Mr. Ratshisusu’s appointment comes at a time of staffing difficulties at the authority, including most recently the departure of a senior Deputy Commissioner.   In its official release, the Commission’s Acting Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele is quoted as emphasizing the agency’s focus on getting past its recent personnel woes:

“I am pleased that we have now completed the task of filling all vacancies for the heads of the Commission’s core divisions. This will allow us to focus on fulfilling our strategic priorities”

We take it that any remaining open seats on the Commission’s org chart are, by logical inference, to be deemed “non-core” to the functioning of the agency.

The Acting Commissioner: Focusing on
The Acting Commissioner: Focusing on “strategic priorities”, such as the healthcare inquiry and other enforcement

* Mr. Bah co-authored an amusingly-titled mergers paper while at the Irish Competition Authority: “The Curious Tale of Pigs, Papers and Peru: Media Mergers in Ireland“.  It should not come as a surprise that’s editors have a faible for anything that contains alliterations…