Why minister axed Acsa board members

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Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters. (GCIS)
Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters. (GCIS)

Cape Town – Transport Minister Dipuo Peters decided to dismiss four board members of the Airports Company SA (Acsa) as the board needs to be strengthened with people with the necessary skills and expertise, said her spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi.
 
He told Fin24 by e-mail that the Minister acted on the recommendations contained in a Board Evaluation Report, which contained a skills matrix.

Mnisi said the Acsa board should collectively possess a variety of skills and qualifications including finance, law, aviation and other capabilities required to execute on its mandate.
 
“The Board must also ensure that Acsa maintain effective, efficient and transparent systems of financial and risk management, and internal controls as set out in the Public Finance Management Act, as Acsa is Schedule 2 public entity.”
 
As for the remaining board members, Mnisi said, the Minister still has faith in their abilities, skills and expertise.
 
BusinessLive on Monday reported that McDonald Kenosi Moroka, Kate Matlou, Bajabulile Luthuli and Chwayita Mabude received notices of their immediate dismissal just after midday on Thursday last week.
 
According to BusinessLive, some sources alleged saying the minister was trying to protect CEO Bongani Maseko from being suspended, while others claimed Peters wanted to “strengthen” the board.
 
In November last year, a number of Acsa senior managers – procurement manager Percy Sithole, general manager for regional airports Jabulani Khambule and legal counsel Bongani Machobane – have been suspended for procurement irregularities.
 
Their suspensions arose from supply chain management irregularities that surfaced in an audit report, which included among other things the awarding in 2008 of a hotel management contract to City Lodge and the decision in 2014 to award a retail contract at OR Tambo International Airport to Amger Retailing instead of Exclusive Books.
 
The forensic report was conducted by Dr VS Mncube Consulting on behalf of the Acsa board, and presented to the board in August last year.
 
Maseko, however, who was also fingered in the report, was not suspended, as the investigation was still ongoing.
 
Asked whether disciplinary procedures would be instituted against Maseko, Mnisi said it is an operational issue and that the Minister could not comment on the matter.

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