IDT CEO faces charges

Suspended Independent Development Trust (IDT) CEO Coceko Pakade must face at least three charges in a disciplinary hearing.

This is according to a report by law firm De Swardt Vögel Myambo. IDT board chairperson Nhlanhla Ngubane appointed it late last year to investigate several allegations against Pakade.

These included irregularities in the appointment of chief operating officer (COO) Ayanda Wakaba, interference in supply chain management processes in the IDT’s Eastern Cape offices, failing to maintain efficient financial and risk management control systems and “any other irregularity that may be discovered during the investigation”.

According to the 61-page report, Pakade failed to follow procedure in making the appointment.

Pakade failed to negotiate with the first preferred candidate for the COO position and instead tilted the scales in Wakaba’s favour by apparently stalling the process until he was ready to be appointed.

“All positions of executives that had to be filled were filled timeously by Pakade, except the COO position. There is no clear justification for the delay in filling this position,” the report reads.

Pakade’s lawyer Ruan Rabie said he could not shed more light on the matter because it is sub-judice but said the process followed by IDT was fatally flawed.

“We are currently also engaged in a unfair suspension dispute at the CCMA and will it be premature to disclose facts which relates to the merits of this matter to the media at this stage in the process,” he said.

IDT spokesperson Lesego Mashigo said the disciplinary process was expected to be concluded later this month. He declined to divulge what the charges were.

“They have been served on the employee, but we cannot go into the details because the matter is sub judice,” he said.

The report contradicts itself on a number of occasions. One example is that the law firm found that Pakade appointed a service provider late, but then mentions that it was not his fault.

Mashigo said the IDT commissioned and would foot the bill for the report. This was despite the fact that it was bankrupt. On previous occasions, Treasury was approached to find a company to conduct investigations at the IDT and it paid.

Meanwhile, efforts were underway to save some jobs during the company’s looming retrenchment process.

The majority union, the National Education‚ Health and Allied Workers’ Union, had asked the public works department to consider absorbing some of those who were expected to lose their jobs. The union said at least 58 of its members were facing the axe.

The process to be followed had not yet been decided on, but the parties were expected to meet for talks next Wednesday.

According to its website, the IDT is a state-owned entity that manages delivery of public infrastructure projects such as schools and hospitals.

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