Gauteng official sacked over R3bn deal

05 August 2011 - 02:24 By AMUKELANI CHAUKE
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and MEC for roads and transport Ismail Vadi
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and MEC for roads and transport Ismail Vadi

Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane has avoided paying a golden handshake to a senior official facing accusations of corruption and maladministration.

Yesterday, Mokonyane, nicknamed "Mama Action" for acting swiftly against corruption, announced that Gauteng transport head Benedicta Monama, alleged to have approved a dodgy multibillion-rand contract despite repeated warnings by the province's treasury, was not returning.

In February, the provincial treasury cautioned Monama against awarding a R3-billion contract. It also warned her against appointing WestPoint Trading Enterprise 123 to manage and operate driving licence testing centres.

Mokonyane said Monama's contract, which expired at the end of last month, would not be renewed because of the seriousness of the allegations against her.

"[Her] contract has not been renewed and she has not been given an opportunity to remain in the employ of the Gauteng provincial government.

"She has not been given a package upon her departure.

"It is a fact that these are serious allegations. We view them in a serious light. On the basis of that, we are not renewing her contract.

"The fact that she acted without the treasury's approval, that is a serious flaw . that you undermine the treasury's advice," Mokonyane said.

In June, on a separate matter, Monama was implicated in Auditor-General Terence Nombembe's report after MEC for transport Ismail Vadi ordered an investigation into the awarding of 13 tenders last year.

While the Auditor-General was investigating these contracts, provincial treasury head Nomfundo Tshabalala reportedly wrote two letters to Monama, warning her against the deal.

MEC for finance Mandla Nkomfe also wrote to Vadi in June, raising concerns about the awarding of the "illegal" contract.

Mokonyane said Monama's decision to ignore the Public Finance Management Act and "unilaterally" enter into contracts was a serious offence.