Commissioner in hot seat

2009-06-02 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Land Claims Commissioner who was sent to work in Pretoria, after employees in the provincial department complained about her management style, stands to face a series of disciplinary actions after a damning forensic investigation into her office.

A forensic report in the possession of The Witness alleged that Mayu Sosibo contravened procurement procedures by awarding tenders and appointing consultants improperly and displaying disrespect towards employees.

The 13-page forensic report recommen­ded that disciplinary action be taken against Sosibo for “negligently mismanaging the finances of the state” by incurring unauthorised and irregular expenditure when she allegedly appointed Cape Media to profile the KZN Land Claims Commission based in Pietermaritzburg, at a cost of R41 040, without following pro­per procedure.

The report stated that Sosibo allegedly delayed land claims submissions by about two to three months after they were signed by landowners.

Sosibo is in the hot seat as well for allegedly appointing a personal assistant of her choice, wasting taxpayers’ money in the process.

“It is alleged that the commissioner [Sosibo] engaged in fruitless and wasteful expenditure by advertising nationally for the position of personal assistant for herself, whereas she had already earmarked a specific candidate for the position,” states the report.

“We interviewed the commissioner, she did not deny that Ms Y was her preferred candidate because … they had previously worked together in the department of Health. She said she was compelled to advertise the post in the interest of transparency,” the report stated.

Five former Land Claims staff, said the report, were requested to supply reasons for resigning. Among the reasons, stated the report, was that Sosibo labelled some officials as “a bunch of fraudsters” and that she had been working with the Scorpions and the police to investigate them.

The commissioner was rude to staff members, often criticising their work with statements such as “what rubbish is this?”, stated the report.

“When we interviewed the commissioner, she did not deny the allegations, but stated that this was how she had been taught and she was using the same method to train her own staff.”

The Witness has learnt that chief Land Claims Commissioner Bles­sing Mphela will visit the provincial office in the next couple of days to deal with the allegations.

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