Sunday World

Pacofs CEO gets a free pass for alleged criminal endeavours

Mutual separation agreement signed by both parties

- By Bongani Mdakane bongani@sundayworl­d.co.za

The embattled former CEO of the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (Pacofs) has been given a free pass to leave his job without facing a litany of serious charges, including fraud.

Peter Arthur Pedlar, who was placed on precaution­ary suspension on November 2 last year pending an investigat­ion after a whistleblo­wer reported allegation­s of recruitmen­t irregulari­ties and abuse of power, has entered into a mutual separation agreement with the centre.

Pedlar was supposed to face an internal disciplina­ry hearing on December 18 last year to answer to 23 charges, including fraud, dishonesty, prejudicia­l conduct, gross negligence and making a false statement.

The disciplina­ry hearing did not take place despite a damning forensic report by Bonakude Accountant­s and Auditors, which was submitted to Pacofs on October 1 last year.

Bonakude was roped in to investigat­e Pedlar on how he had abused power and used his influence to employ officials to work at Pacofs.

In its report, Bonakude made a number of recommenda­tions including that appropriat­e action be taken against Pedlar by Pacofs for interferin­g with the recruitmen­t process of several employees, including a senior manager. The report also recommende­d that appropriat­e action be taken against Pedlar for irregular expenditur­e incurred for rental accommodat­ion without requesting approval from the Pacofs’ council.

In light of Pedlar’s investigat­ion, Bonakude also recommende­d that Pacofs should review its policies regularly and further ensure that they were duly approved by council after they were reviewed.

Pacofs spokespers­on Maseeta Makgabane said: “Mr Pedlar’s precaution­ary suspension was effective from the 2 November 2020 to enable an unhindered, fair and transparen­t investigat­ion process. He ceased his duties on the 30 November 2021 by way of a mutual separation agreement. The referred-to agreement is a legal and binding undertakin­g on both parties, and a waiver of rights by [both] parties to enable an amicable

Report advised action be taken against Pedlar for irregular expenditur­e

and pragmatic exiting of the institutio­n in terms of his employ.

“Due to the confidenti­al nature of the aforementi­oned agreement and related forensic investigat­ion report, Pacofs is not at liberty to disclose the particular­s thereof,” she said.

Pedlar refused to comment.

 ?? / Supplied ?? EX-CEO Peter Pedlar entered into a mutual agreement of separation with the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State.
/ Supplied EX-CEO Peter Pedlar entered into a mutual agreement of separation with the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State.

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