Itumeleng Molosi, the suspended public works official who pleaded guilty to irregularly appointing contractors and flouted tender procedures on the R246 million Nkandla project, has been allowed to continue working for free, despite being slapped with a two-month unpaid suspension.
City Press visited Molosi’s office in Braamfontein, Joburg, this week and found him at his desk despite the suspension.
But Phillip Masilo, legal advisor to Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, said Molosi was not barred from coming to work during the two-month suspension, but said Molosi’s salary would be docked.
Public works staff in Pretoria told City Press they were surprised to hear that Molosi, the department’s director of projects, was back at work even though he had been suspended.
But Masilo said it was standard practice not to bar officials from work during their suspensions and that Molosi had opted to continue working during his suspension.
“We have no issues with him continuing to work. We know about that. He will still undergo retraining and his salary will not be paid for two months or an amount equal to two month’s pay may be deducted from his salary every month until it is paid. There’s nothing strange about that,” said Masilo.
Molosi also acted as Joburg regional manager this week, something insiders said was a sign that the department still trusted him the Nkandla bungle.
Molosi declined to speak to the City Press when visited this week and his secretary said he was unsure whether he could comment on his suspension or not.
Molosi, who was represented by the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union, became the first of 13 senior officials charged with irregularities in the Nkandla spending to plead guilty. He is the only official who is not being represented by the Public Service Association.
The hearings for the other officials begin next month. Jean Rindel, Nkandla project manager, will appear next.