State Theatre boss probed af­ter com­plaints from staff

Sunday World - - News -

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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