Gauteng Transport officials in trouble

2009-12-19 15:54

GAUTENG Roads and Transport acting head Benny Monama has been told to learn how government is run following her decision to suspend a senior official.

Sibusiso Mpanza, a deputy director general in the department, said Monama should take time to study the Public Finance Management Act, the document on how government should be run.

Mpanza was suspended in November pending an investigation into claims that he allegedly advised the department’s former head, Sibusiso Buthelezi, to “sign expenditure that was outside the procurement process”.

Buthelezi, who had been on suspension since July for allegedly ignoring tender rules when he awarded contracts to friends and associates, was last month paid a year’s salary to leave instead of being brought before a disciplinary process.

Premier Nomvula Mokonyane is on record as saying she would hold senior officials accountable to show her commitment to dealing with corruption.

In a letter suspending Mpanza on November 18 Monama said the department was following instructions from the legislature to “commence a forensic investigation into the financial management of the department for the period ended 31 March 2009 and to take the necessary disciplinary action”. Mpanza was to be charged once the investigation was completed.

In response to his suspension Mpanza – through his lawyer Themba Langa – wrote a scathing letter to Monama accusing her and the department of acting recklessly and committing illegal acts by settling with Buthelezi before he could answer to charges made against him.

The department’s spokesperson, Philemon Motshwaedi, said the suspension was a precautionary measure intended to deal with issues of corruption.

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