Ombud faces suspension over VBS bank scandal
The board of the Community Schemes Ombud Service has served a possible suspension letter to its chief ombud‚ advocate Seeng Letele‚ and chief financial officer‚ Themba Mabuya‚ amid allegations that they were grossly negligent‚ dishonest and in dereliction of duty in their investment of surplus funds into VBS Bank.
They also stand accused of failing to provide relevant information to the board‚ relating to other investments. The board has given Letele and Mabuya until Thursday to make representations on the question of their suspension.
In a statement on Wednesday‚ the Community Schemes Ombud Service board said it is investigating the allegations "with a view to possibly instituting disciplinary proceedings".
Board chairperson Rev Mehana said: “The board is interested to receive representations from Letele and Mabuya but should we not receive it in the stipulated time‚ the board will proceed to suspend without their submissions.”
In June‚ the Mail and Guardian reported on allegations that the recently established Community Schemes Ombud Service had invested R80-million with the controversial VBS Mutual Bank without approval.
Letele was named as chief ombud‚ effective April 2017‚ on secondment from the Department of Human Settlement where she was in charge of the legal department.
The CSOS is the regulatory authority for all community schemes in South Africa. Its mission is "to facilitate and maintain a world-class dispute resolution service to promote good governance of community schemes".