David Mabuza should discipline ‘lying’ HOD – Scopa

2013-10-11 08:12

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Mpumalanga public works head of department (HOD) Kgopana Mohlasedi is in hot water again for misleading the legislature, the public and the Auditor-General about classroom construction and renovation projects.

The Select Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has recommended Premier David Mabuza take disciplinary action against Mohlasedi.

In Mpumalanga, HODs can only be disciplined by Mabuza with whom they sign employment contracts, not by MECs.

According to a Scopa report on the department’s 2011/12 annual report, Mohlasedi put information in the annual report that was found to be incorrect when the committee verified the information.

The committee found the following inconsistencies:

» Only four classrooms were renovated at ML Nkuna Secondary School as opposed to the 97 Mohlasedi reported;

» In Mbuzini primary 12 classrooms were renovated instead of 20;

» The department constructed five classrooms and 10 toilets in Sinqobile secondary, but reported 28 classrooms and 26 toilets;

» At King Makhosonke Secondary School no toilets were constructed but the department reported eight completed toilets. Only six classrooms instead of 12 were constructed.

“The committee concludes that the information contained in the annual report is incorrect and some of the projects reported on date back to 2007,” reads the Scopa report.

Mabuza’s spokesperson, Zibonele Mncwango, failed to respond to written questions that were e-mailed to him on Monday.

“I’m still awaiting approval of the responses,” Mncwango said.

Scopa recommended in 2010 that Mohlasedi be disciplined for paying R4.2 million in rent for an unoccupied building. Mabuza did not take any action.

In 2005, before Mabuza was premier, then roads and transport MEC Fish Mahlalela sacked Mohlasedi as chief director for roads on 13 charges, which included paying service providers for work that was never completed – at a cost of R8 million to taxpayers.

When Mabuza became MEC for roads and transport in 2008, he rehired Mohlasedi and then promoted him to the position of head of department after becoming premier in 2009.

A legislature member, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “This Mohlasedi saga goes to the issue of untouchable HODs in the province due to the funny arrangement of being accountable to the premier and not the MECs. This report is just a tip of the iceberg.”

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