SIU granted temporary order freezing pension benefits of former Lepelle Northern Water CEO

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Phineas Legodi (file)
Phineas Legodi (file)
  • The SIU was granted a temporary order freezing the pension benefits of the former CEO of Lepelle Northern Water.
  • The former CEO resigned from the water board after being placed on precautionary suspension.
  • The SIU investigation relates to the Giyani water project.

The Special Tribunal has granted the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) a temporary order to interdict the Municipal Employees Union Retirement Fund from paying out the pension benefits due to former Lepelle Northern Water CEO Phineas Legodi.

The current interim order comes after the initial temporary order granted was declared to have lapsed on 24 November.

The Tribunal also called on the respondents in the case to show cause before it on 21 January on why the interim order should not be confirmed.

News24 reported in September that the initial order was granted after Legodi resigned from the water board a few weeks ago after being placed on precautionary suspension by the Lepelle interim board in June. 

"The matter relates to a water project that was meant to benefit about 50 villages in Giyani, Limpopo province. The Department of Water and Sanitation appointed Lepelle Northern Water to oversee the project," SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The SIU investigation has uncovered information which suggest that Lepelle Northern Water awarded a contract to a third party to work on the project irregularly." 

READ | SIU granted interim order to freeze pension of former Lepelle Northern Water Board CEO

The SIU said it felt prudent to secure the pension of the former CEO in order to finalise the investigation.

The unit will approach the Tribunal to bring a formal application to recover any losses suffered by the state as a result of the alleged irregular award of the contract once the investigation is completed.

SIU head advocate Andy Mothibi said resignation from employment "only terminates the employer and employee relationship".

"The SIU will pursue civil litigation against any official if there is an indication that they have caused damage to the public purse," he added.

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