Technology Innovation Agency CEO and CFO fired

By Drum Digital
01 April 2014

The chief executive officer and chief financial officer of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) have been dismissed, the science and technology ministry said on Tuesday.

CEO Simphiwe Duma and CFO Barbara Kortjass were both dismissed last month after disciplinary processes were concluded, minister Derek Hanekom said.

In May 2013, the TIA board received several allegations levelled against the former CEO and five other agency officials.

Deloitte was appointed in July to investigate allegations of nepotism, intimidation of external auditors, irregular investment transactions, Duma's expenses, and procurement of goods and services.

Disciplinary proceedings against six staff members, including the CEO and CFO of TIA, were conducted after the report by Deloitte.

"This report was considered and accepted by the board of the agency at its meeting of March 26.

"They then recommended to me that the CEO be dismissed. I concurred with this recommendation," Hanekom said.

As a direct consequence of the investigations, the services of Kortjass were also terminated by the board.

"Five of the disciplinary hearings (including the internal process) have now been concluded.

"Three staff members were handed appropriate sanctions and are all back in their positions in TIA," Hanekom said.

One staff member was still undergoing the disciplinary process, he said.

"With my concurrence, the TIA board appointed Mr Mkhululi Mazibuko, the agency's chief operations officer, as the acting CEO.

"Mr Werner van der Merwe has been the acting CFO during the absence of the former CFO," Hanekom said.

The agency would now focus on the recruitment of a suitably skilled and qualified individual.

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