State Theatre boss probed after complaints from staff
STATE Theatre chief executive Quinton Simpson is facing a two-pronged charge from his staff.
They say there was favouritism in the way he was employed and accuse him of meddling in procurement processes to favour some firms.
One part relates to a rebranding contract, in which the Department of Arts and Culture gave the theatre R500 000 to change its logos and other symbols. Staff also say the verification of his qualifications was removed from the human resource department by former board chairwoman, Naledi Gallant.
Simpson and Gallant have denied this.
According to staff members who did not want to named, Simpson brought three quotes he had sourced for the rebranding contract.
When the department caught wind of this, it ordered the board to investigate.
“The department wanted answers about another company, then added there were allegations about this, too,” says Simpson. “It was all investigated and nothing was found. ” He says he sourced quotes because there were capacity problems.
Gallant is accused of engineering the employment of Simpson 18 months ago by excluding the HR department and hiring her own company to perform the background check on Simpson. Sunday World found an invoice sent to the State Theatre by Gallant’s Dalitso Consulting for R5 000.
Gallant says she declared to the board that the consulting company was hers. “I told the board that I had a company that could perform that service. It was all above board and represented no conflict of interest. ”
The department forwarded Sunday World’s questions to the chairwoman, advocate Josephine Ralefatane, who admits that Dalitso belonged to “the former council member”. She says the council was not aware of any association between Simpson and the company involved in the rebranding.
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