- Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi says she has asked the HDA board to probe two executives for corruption.
- This was after whistleblowers alleged that the executives dished out questionable contracts to the tune of R270 million in a single day.
- Kubayi said that since her arrival at the department, many unsubstantiated allegations caused the portfolio to lose focus from its work.
Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has referred allegations of corruption against the Housing Development Agency's (HDA) acting CEO Daphney Ngoasheng and COO Nkululeko Stephen Poya, to the HDA board for investigation.
Ngoasheng and Poya are also accused of collusion and interference with supply chain management processes.
Kubayi has also called on people who have further evidence of apparent impropriety at the HDA to report it to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
"In ensuring that I adhere to corporate governance, I have referred and also requested that these and any other complaints be forwarded to the board as the correct authority to deal with these matters. Officially, I have only received one letter and one very inappropriate WhatsApp message, written with so much disregard for processes and containing very disrespectful content," she said.
"As you are aware, this administration is committed to dealing with corruption and has established the fusion centre and strengthened the SIU to help deal with such matter[s]. I encourage anyone with this information to approach the SIU or any other relevant authority so that the allegations can be investigated."
The minister's comments come after whistleblowers alleged in a damning dossier that Ngoasheng and Poya dished out R270 million in questionable contracts in a single day.
The group of disgruntled employees compiled a 46-page complaint, titled "Complaint about deepened corruption activities at HDA", and sent it to HDA board chairperson Doctor Tshilidzi Ratshitanga and Kubayi in January 2022.
The dossier, which News24 has seen, comprises a summary of four allegations against Ngoasheng and six against Poya. It also contains various articles that have been written about the latter in which is HDA appointment was questioned, given his tainted past at the Railway Safety Regulator.
But Kubayi said:
"I'm confident that the board will steer the ship towards stability and high performance, compared to what this organisation has been. I have been very clear on adherence to governance protocols and a no-nonsense approach towards poor performance and corruption. As a government, we have committed to rooting out any individuals, irrespective of who they are if they are found to be corrupt or incompetent," Kubayi said.
She added that when she joined the portfolio, she found institutions that needed urgent attention and capable leadership to restore and ensure that good corporate governance became the norm.
"At HDA, I found an administrator, Dr Alex Mahapa, whom I decided will remain the accounting authority (board) of the organisation while advertising and appointing a new board commenced."
Kubayi said that on 1 November 2021, a new board was appointed as the accounting authority of the HDA.
"I am flagging this to highlight that since my arrival in the portfolio, following a Cabinet reshuffle, the HDA had an accounting authority and that there was never a time when there was a lacuna.
"The responsibility of an accounting authority, amongst other things, is to hold the executives accountable, investigate any allegations brought to the accounting authority's attention and ensure compliance with all laws and policies. More importantly, the accounting authority has to ensure that the institution functions effectively. In terms of the PFMA (the Public Finance Management Act), the roles and responsibilities of the executive authority, the minister, about various schedules of state-owned entities are defined. The King IV [report] guides in terms of corporate governance as well the roles and responsibilities of the shareholder, board and executives in an organisation."
Kubayi said the administrator was asked to hand over a report to the new board as per corporate governance protocol.
Prior to his departure, the administrator brought to her attention media articles about allegations against Poya.
She said she asked him to investigate and urgently provide her with a report.
HDA Senior Manager: Marketing and Communication Tshepo Nkosi, confirmed to News24 that the agency was "following its internal processes and putting in place policies to deal with anonymous whistleblowing matters of this nature".
Kubayi asked that the HDA be allowed to do its work without interference.
She warned that since her arrival at the department, many unsubstantiated allegations had been made which "tends to really defocus one from the real issues on the portfolio, which includes repositioning the HDA to be a developer of choice".