Nxesi wields the axe at IDT board

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi has threatened to remove the entire Independent Development Trust (IDT) board unless they provide reasons they should stay at the bankrupt state-owned entity.

Nxesi, in letters seen by City Press, gave the board until close of business last Friday to do so.

The minister cited recent negative media coverage and forensic reports that exposed rampant corruption at the organisation, but that were canned. He questioned the appointments of board chairperson Nhlanhla Ngubane and his deputy, Alan Baloyi.

Part of the letter addressed to Ngubane reads: “It is my view that based on clause 14.5 referred to above, your appointment as chairperson was irregular as it contravenes the provisions of the trust deed as referred to above, in that, as the appointee of the executive authority, you were not eligible as the chairperson.”

Nxesi sent the letters four days after he approved the entity’s annual performance plan and gave the go-ahead for it to be printed.

Coincidentally, or not, the entire board, except for Ngubane and Baloyi, was appointed by Nxesi in his first tenure at the department, before he was moved to sport and recreation.

According to appointment letters for both Ngubane and his predecessor, Somadoda Fikeni, the legal provisions used to appoint them are the same.

The department previously said it was in the dark about Ngubane’s possibly irregular appointment. This was in response to questions about whether Cabinet approved the appointments.

Nxesi appointed the IDT’s current CEO, Coceko Pakade, in 2012.

He was suspended and is facing an internal disciplinary hearing on charges including irregularities in the appointment of chief operating officer Ayanda Wakaba. According to sources close to the matter, Nxesi did not want him found guilty and wanted to get rid of Ngubane and Baloyi as they were not his choices.

Nkosinathi Nhleko appointed Ngubane and Baloyi shortly after he replaced Nxesi.

Although the current board tabled forensic investigation reports into alleged wrongdoing, they were allegedly received under Fikeni.

Nxesi’s office had not replied to requests for comment at the time of going to print.

City Press could not confirm if Nxesi received the reasons from board members by the close of business on Friday.

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