Cooperative Governance director-general quits

2012-01-12 07:54

Director-General of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Elroy Africa has resigned from his position with immediate effect.

Africa’s resignation on Tuesday came just two months after the new minister Richard Baloyi was appointed to Cogta in a Cabinet reshuffle in which President Jacob Zuma fired Sicelo Shiceka as the minister in that portfolio.

Africa was a known ally of Shiceka and was often blamed for allowing the former minister to get away with irregular financial transactions.

In a statement released yesterday, Baloyi’s spokesperson, Mbulelo Musi, said the ministry accepted Africa’s resignation “with considerable regret”.

Musi said Africa wished to “pursue other interests” outside the department.

“We are grateful for the contribution he has made since joining the department in 1998. In our discussions with him, we had to acknowledge that 13 years of service to the government as a senior official constituted a significant period and Mr Africa’s desire to pursue other intellectual and personal interests is understandable.”

As a director-general, Africa presided over Cogta’s worst financial crisis. The department received two successive qualified audits, a failure which saw him seeking external help in September last year to clean up Cogta’s books.

What made the qualified audits even more embarrassing was that Cogta’s predecessor, the department of provincial and local government, had received clean audits for seven consecutive years.

Africa was appointed after former director-general Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela left in 2009.

Last year, Auditor-General Terrence Nombembe found that Cogta’s irregular expenditure had reached R420 million in the 2010-2011 financial year because of poor financial management and flouting of procurement processes.

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