Suspended roads chief to know fate soon

2010-04-14 14:45

A senior roads department official in North West should know his fate next week following the conclusion of a disciplinary hearing into charges of misconduct.

Suspended roads department chief director, Eddie Thebe’s hearing was concluded last night in Mafikeng.

Thebe and the department are expected to submit written heads of argument to the disciplinary committee chairperson, Patrick Ngutshane, by the end of the week. Ngutshane will make a ruling on April 23.

Thebe faced 11 charges of misconduct relating to several road construction contracts that were allegedly awarded to companies without following procedure. He also allegedly breached supply-chain management policies, where tenders were handed to companies without going through evaluations.

He was suspended in September last year after it emerged that the department’s roads infrastructure budget had been depleted within a few months into the 2009/10 financial year.

This resulted in some contractors hauling the department to court for failing to pay.

A forensic investigation, commissioned by roads MEC Mahlakeng Mahlakeng, also found that the roads budget had been committed until 2012 – in contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.

The department’s head, Nic van Staden, and its chief financial officer, Kweku Odame-Takyi, were also suspended for allegedly failing to curb the expenditure. Both are scheduled to appear before a disciplinary hearing scheduled from next Monday.

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