Pacofs CEO gets a free pass for alleged criminal endeavours
Mutual separation agreement signed by both parties
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.