Legislature laptops: accused goes free

2012-02-03 00:00

THE KZN Legislature will have to write off R230 000 of public funds after an IT specialist on the staff was acquitted of charges of buying laptops at inflated prices.

His acquittal came after suppliers had refused to testify at his disciplinary hearing, legislature secretary Nerusha Naidoo told the standing committee of public accounts (Scopa) yesterday.

Naidoo said the employee, Cedric Sithole, faced five charges relating to the 2009 purchase of 10 laptops for the legislature. It was later discovered that the prices had been inflated by up to R230 000. Sithole was acquitted after a lengthy disciplinary hearing, which started in April 2011 and ended five months later.

The acquittal means that the legislature will not be able to recover the R230 000.

Naidoo and KZN Legislature speaker Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni had assured Scopa that measures had been put in place to ensure that such a setback would not happen again. One such measure is the appointment of an IT manager who reports directly to Naidoo.

The legislature secretary said that there was a recommendation that the supply chain manager, advocate Johan Muthige, also be charged in connection with the case. However, she said, the process was abandoned after he had decided to retire before he was hauled before the disciplinary committee.

This laptop acquisition case was one of the unresolved matters that came up in the Auditor-General’s 2008/09 report. Another was the disciplinary hearing of an employee, Mohammed Ismail, who was charged with losing legislature bid documents.

Naidoo said Ismail was found guilty of negligence in failing to safeguard the bid documents, which were under his direct control.

“In view of the mitigating circumstances and the fact that the legislature shared some responsibility in that it had not allocated a safe for him to store the bid documents, he was given a written warning,” Naidoo said.

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
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.