Eskom fires suspended procurement officer with immediate effect

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Eskom says Solly Tshitangano was found guilty on five charges and dismissed with immediate effect on Friday.
Eskom says Solly Tshitangano was found guilty on five charges and dismissed with immediate effect on Friday.
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Eskom has fired its chief procurement officer, Solly Tshitangano, with immediate effect. Tshitangano was suspended in February following allegations of poor performance.

On Friday evening, Eskom issued a statement saying that it had received a report from the chairman of Tshitangano's disciplinary hearing who recommended that he be dismissed.

"Mr Tshitangano was found guilty on five charges. Those are serious misconduct and failing to carry out his duties, contravening the Public Finance Management Act, and contravening Eskom's disciplinary code in that he divulged confidential information to external parties," said Eskom spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha.

Mantshantsha said Eskom has accordingly acted in line with the chairman's recommendation and fired him on the spot.

When the power utility suspended Tshitangano, it alleged that he failed to turn around the Eskom's procurement division and charged with several counts of misconduct.  

News24 later reported after investigations that Solly Tshitangano supported and awarded more than R8 billion of contracts to Econ Oil in 2019 despite evidence of impropriety and possible corruption involving Econ and Eskom officials at his disposal. 

But Tshitangano has disputed all the charges. Instead, he complained to Cyril Ramaphosa that Eskom CEO André de Ruyter was racist.

Eskom said it enlisted the services of law firm Bowmans who carried out a forensic investigation. It also called two witnesses who testified against Tshitangano. The company said even though Tshitangano did not give any evidence in his defence, his disciplinary process was "exhaustive".

It said the chairman gave Tshitangano an opportunity to answer to the supplementary misconduct charges relating to Econ Oil’s relationship with Eskom. His legal representatives also got a chance to cross examined Eskom's witnesses.

Although his legal team argued that Tshitangan was a whistle blowing victim, the disciplinary committee chairman dismissed that, saying that it was an attempt to divert attention from Tshitangano's conduct.

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