Mhlathuze Water's suspended CEO gets the boot

Sibusiso Makhanya, far right, pictured with Ashley Starkey and Cyril Gamede. (File photo)
Sibusiso Makhanya, far right, pictured with Ashley Starkey and Cyril Gamede. (File photo)

The contract of Mhlathuze Water's chief executive officer has been terminated, the utility said on Thursday.

Sibusiso Makhanya had been suspended in 2015 by the utility's previous board, after a forensic investigation made findings of impropriety and tender irregularity against him, according to a Mhlathuze Water statement.

The utility's spokesperson, Siyabonga Maphumulo, said the newly appointed board, after due diligence, resolved to terminate Makhanya's contract.

"In addition to these findings, further allegations of misconduct relating to impropriety, maladministration and tender irregularities against Mr Makhanya were brought to the attention of the current board, which warranted his immediate dismissal," said Maphumulo.

Maphumulo said the new board, appointed by Minister of Water and Sanitation Gugile Nkwinti in December last year, was seized with the urgent task of resolving the long-outstanding issue of Makhanya, "who had challenged his suspension in court".

"The board carries the unambiguous mandate of ensuring that the highest ethical standards are set at Mhlathuze Water and of engendering a culture of accountability and leadership stability at the utility. For this to happen, it was critical for the board to finalise the long-outstanding matter of the erstwhile chief executive," he said.

The interim chief executive, Mthokozisi Duze, will continue in Makhanya's position while the board looks for someone to permanently fill the vacancy.

Makhanya could not be reached for comment.

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