Ezemvelo audit probe fingers 47 employees over fraud and corruption

2008-08-19 00:00

FORTY-SEVEN employees of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife have been fingered in a forensic audit investigation into allegations of fraud and corruption at the provincial nature conservation agency.

Three are at executive level, and 25 at management level, while the remaining 19 are below management level.

The audit report has recommended that the SAPS institute criminal investigations against six employees, while proposing disciplinary action against 41.

Two of the six who may face criminal charges are managers. They have been fingered in acts of fraud, theft and corruption.

A summary of the forensic audit report states that one employee has already been charged, convicted of theft and given a suspended prison sentence, while police are investigating three others.

Of the 41 who could face disciplinary action, three are at an executive level, 23 are managers and 15 are below the management level.

These employees have been fingered in irregularities ranging from the “inappropriate use of corporate cards” to misappropriation of funds.

Other irregularities include approving VAT payments to suppliers who are not VAT-registered, inappropriately awarding tenders and the non-disclosure of business interests.

Already four EKZNW employees have been dismissed after disciplinary hearings following the audit investigation, the report states.

“One employee … has signed an acknowledgement of debt to EKZNW for R75 182,54, to be recovered from benefits due to her by EKZNW,” the report states.

However, the full forensic audit report has not been made public, with only a summary being released.

Agriculture and Environmental Affairs MEC Mtholephi Mthimkhulu told a joint sitting of the legislature’s finance watchdogs, the Public Accounts Standing Accounts (Scopa) and the finance portfolio committee, that it would not be ideal to make the findings public.

He urged that a full report be tabled in camera before the two committees in about two weeks.

He said this is because the report contains names of individuals implicated in certain irregularities, as well as information that could still form the basis of the criminal investigation.

Some committee members have expressed dismay at the summary and indicated that it will be difficult to deliberate on the findings unless the report is tabled in full.

Jo-Ann Downs of the ACDP objected that the report will be discussed in camera.

“It is better to put these issues in the open and deal with them,” she said.

DA MPL Johan Krog called for the investigation report to be made public.

“The vague forensic report summary presented today does not reveal all those implicated nor what further action is to be taken,” Krog said.

It seemed the MEC had allowed board members additional time to respond to issues raised in the forensic report.

“This in conjunction with the proposed in camera reporting suggests a high level of protection is being afforded — but to whom and for what reason?” Krog asked.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.