Post Office CEO and COO under fire

2011-08-16 15:18

The South African Post Office’s group chief executive, Motshoanetsi Lefoka, and chief operations officer, John Wentzel are facing a disciplinary process over a R425 million lease agreement.

Wentzel is also acting managing director of the parastatal’s subsidiary the Post Bank.

The lease agreement involved the moving of the Post Office head office from Tshwane Central to Eco Point, in Centurion.

This comes after City Press broke a story a month ago in relation to the R425 million lease agreement.

The details of the disciplinary hearing emerged at the parastatal’s hastily-organised media briefing yesterday where Post Office chairperson Vuyo Mahlati tabled a summary of contents of a 16-month investigation into the lease agreement.

At the press briefing, Mahlati initially did not want to disclose the names of the executives that were fingered by the report.

However, when pressed she did reveal the names.

As they are the top executives of the Post Office, Lefoka and Wentzel, who also acts as managing director of the Post Bank, were conspicuous by their absence at the media briefing held in Rosebank.

Mahlati also revealed that one executive was given a final written warning.

She pointed out that though the executive was handed the warning, the executive had still not escaped the disciplinary process.

She said the rationale for the move to Eco Point was sound, but it is believed it did not comply with the Public Finance Management Act.

“We regret the behaviour of those individuals entrusted with the delegated authority of the Post Office,” said Mahlati.

She said the investigation initially focused on the Eco Point contract but there were other areas in the Post Office’s property that needed attention.

She declined to mention the specific areas.

She also refused to divulge the name of a company that introduced the Post Office to M&T, a property development firm which owns Eco Point.

Mahlati said her board would focus their energies on ensuring that there is a culture of compliance in the Post Office and screws are tightened to achieve this goal.

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