Official left before end of probe
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.