Mohlala faces Public Protector probe on top of board charges

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Mamodupi Mohlala is preparing to defend her name. Photo: Bongiwe Gumede/Foto24/Gallo Images
Mamodupi Mohlala is preparing to defend her name. Photo: Bongiwe Gumede/Foto24/Gallo Images

NEWS


It never rains but pours for the suspended CEO of an entity tasked with regulating those in the property business, who is now facing a Public Protector investigation into allegations of maladministration.

Mamodupi Mohlala, the suspended CEO of the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA), was charged by the entity’s board in July for her alleged role in fraud, gross dishonesty, misrepresentation of facts, irregular appointments and irregular expenditure, among a host of other charges.

City Press has now learnt that the office of the Public Protector is conducting its own probe, following a complaint lodged by an anonymous whistleblower in October, relating to the alleged irregular appointments of staff in several positions.

READ: Property regulator infighting woes

Mohlala told City Press that she intended to defend any allegation against herself.

She said:

I am not guilty of allegations brought against me of maladministration. I expect that the Public Protector will contact me for comment.

Oupa Segalwe, the spokesperson for the Public Protector’s office, said the investigation was under way.

“All affected parties have been contacted.”

However, Segalwe would not disclose further details in line with section 7(2) of the Public Protector Act 23 of 1994.

He said the section provided that “notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law, no person shall disclose to any other person the contents of any document in the possession of a member of the office of the Public Protector or the record of any evidence given before the Public Protector, a Deputy Public Protector or a person contemplated in subsection (3)(b) during an investigation, unless the Public Protector determines otherwise”.

He explained this was to protect the integrity of the investigation.

The board’s role

However, City Press has learnt that Ponatshego Mogaladi, investigations executive manager at the Office of the Public Protector, wrote to the board chairperson, Steven Ngubeni, on July 12, stating that there was an investigation into allegations of maladministration levelled against Mohlala.

In it, Mogaladi said they received a complaint from an anonymous complainant on October 21 2021 against the PPRA.

READ: State property practitioners body places CEO Mohlala on suspension

She said the investigation was conducted in terms of section 182(1) of the Constitution read with sections 6 and 7 of the Public Protector Act.

Mogaladi said the complainant could not follow the internal avenues to lodge a complaint allegedly in fear of Mohlala.

Part of the maladministration allegations related to the appointment of officials in several positions that were allegedly not in the organisational structure.

READ: Controversial Mohlala in the firing line

The complainant, according to Mogaladi, also alleged that these appointees were not qualified for their positions.

In the letter, Mogaladi requested Ngubeni’s board to assist them in investigating the allegations.

She asked for information and copies of supporting documents, which included:

• A detailed response on the role of the board in relation to the matter, including the steps taken or being taken to address the allegations; and

• a copy of the applicable legislative prescripts regulating the functions and mandate of the board.

She said the requested information should preferably be sent within 30 days to enable them to conclude the investigation and issue a report.

Ngubeni confirmed that Mogaladi’s letter was received.

“It sought an update from the board on the action we have taken since the receipt of the complaint. The CEO is charged as a result of additional allegations against her, following the whistleblowers’ complaint to the Public Service Commission.” Ngubeni said.

He said the disciplinary process against Mohlala was currently under way. 


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