Minister Siyabonga Cwele is being accused of ‘protecting’ two officials who rigged a R756 million tender and lied to parliament to protect former minister, Dina Pule.
This is according to a report by The Sunday Times, citing internal communications and processes seen by the paper.
Internal disciplinary hearings at the department recommended that two director-generals, Themba Phiri and Sam Vilikazi, be axed from the department for several offences they were found guilty of.
According to the Sunday Times, an investigation by the SIU found that Phiri and Vilikazi had previously lied to parliament about Dina Pule’s wasteful expenditure in traveling with her boyfriend, Phosane Mnqibisa.
Further, the duo were found to be involved with rigging a digital migration tender to a company called Media Corner, valued at R756 million.
Media Corner is reportedly linked to Pule’s lover, Mnqibisa.
Pule left her role as Minister of Communications in disgrace after she was accused of serious mismanagement and maladministration as well as wasting millions during her tenure.
However, despite the charges and the findings, the current Minister, Siyabonga Cwele subsequently accepted Vilikazi’s resignation – as opposed to following the directive to sack him.
This means that the official is able to remain within government, and has confirmed to the paper that he has already accepted a position at an unnamed state-owned entity.
Phiri was found guilty and fired while Cwele was away. He attempted to resign, but this was not accepted by Cwele.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Cwele’s office denied any involvement in protecting the officials.
The full story can be found in the Sunday Times for 2 August 2015.