Of­fi­cial left be­fore end of probe

Sunday World - - NEWS - Re­ports by AUBREY MOTHOMBENI

LIMPOPO ANC Pro­vin­cial Sec­re­tary Knocks Se­abi al­legedly dodged nu­mer­ous charges, in­clud­ing crim­i­nal mis­con­duct af­ter he was fin­gered in a pre­lim­i­nary foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port by au­dit­ing firm Price­wa­ter­house­coop­ers (pwc) for mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion and ten­der ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties dur­ing his ten­ure as CEO of Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA).

The re­port was re­leased in Fe­bru­ary 2014, but Se­abi, who was sus­pended by LTA board based on the find­ings against him, never faced the mu­sic.

Se­abi re­signed from the govern­ment agency while the board was in the process of set­ting up a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing against him.

The re­port, which was com­mis­sioned by the then LTA board chair­per­son Mashilo Mat­setela, dis­cov­ered that Se­abi had ap­pointed se­cu­rity com­pa­nies to pro­vide ser­vices to the tune of R3.5-mil­lion at the agency without sign­ing Ser­vice Level Agree­ments (SLA), and some ap­point­ments ex­ceeded the ap­proved bud­get.

This week, Mat­setela con­firmed the va­lid­ity of the foren­sic re­port and said it was handed over to the new board when their term came to an end. The re­port was gen­er­ated “and he (Se­abi) was sus­pended based on the re­port find­ings. How­ever, he re­signed from the agency while we were busy with a process a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing. Our term ended be­fore we could take any ac­tion against him,” said Mat­setela.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, Se­abi ex­ceeded the bud­geted amount ear­marked for se­cu­rity ser­vices by more than 50%.

The au­di­tors found that only R1.3-mil­lion was bud­geted for se­cu­rity in six re­sorts, but a lit­tle over R3-mil­lion was paid to the ap­pointed se­cu­rity com­pa­nies.

PWC said Maila and Se­abi pro­vided no ex­pla­na­tion about the dis­crep­ancy. Our review of the “ ap­point­ment let­ters for se­cu­rity ser­vices pro­cured within our review pe­riod in­di­cates that they were all signed by Mr Se­abi,” the re­port reads.

The PWC re­port also in­di­cated that they un­cov­ered a me­moran­dum, authored by cur­rent LTA CEO Fick­son Hlung­wani which re­quested an ex­ten­sion of ex­ist­ing se­cu­rity con­tracts.

The re­port in­di­cated that there were dis­par­i­ties re­gard­ing the date on the let­ters of ap­point­ment, ex­cept for Doorn­draai. Thus, it ap­pears ir­reg­u­lar that “the let­ters of ap­point­ment are dated 11 De­cem­ber 2012 which is prior to the me­moran­dum of re­quest dated 13 De­cem­ber 2012,” reads the re­port.

PWC fur­ther stated that when they asked Hlung­wani about the dates he said he was in­structed by Mphahlele and Se­abi to pre­pare the me­moran­dum on De­cem­ber 13, 2013 af­ter the ser­vice providers had al­ready been ap­pointed.

The re­port also in­di­cate that the ap­point­ment of se­cu­rity com­pa­nies was done without a pur­chase or­der, which was in breach of fi­nan­cial poli­cies and pro­ce­dures man­ual.

Other ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in­volved the ap­point­ment of quan­tity sur­vey­ors, a ser­vice provider to sup­ply trac­tors, and ap­proval of spe­cial leave for an ex­ec­u­tive who had not ex­hausted her sick and an­nual leave.

ANC Limpopo spokes­woman Khum­budzo Nt­shavheni ref­fered all en­quiries to the MEC of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Tourism, Sea­paro Sekoati, who re­fused to com­ment.

LTA spokesman Mike Tau­at­soala said Sun­day World should make a for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion. We wish to wel­come the “en­quiry made to us on the 25th Oc­to­ber 2016. We would, how­ever, like to ad­vise that in terms of the Con­sti­tu­tion of South Africa, any per­son re­quest­ing in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to a pub­lic or pri­vate or­gan­i­sa­tion, must do so un­der the set pro­ce­dures reg­u­lated by Pro­mo­tion of Ac­cess to In­for­ma­tion Act 2 of 2000,” he said.

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