Housing boss slated
REVELATIONS of irregularities at the Housing Development Agency continue to surface and the finger still points at its chief executive, Taffy Adler.
This time Adler is being slated by the agency's board for advertising a "crucial" senior post that was not even vacant.
That post - accompanied by a handsome pay package of R1.4-million - was awarded to Nellie Lester in November last year.
Sowetan has seen documents that point to serious irregularities with her appointment.
Among the other revelations detailed in the documents and relating to Lester's appointment as the agency's general manager of land acquisition is the timing of her application for the post.
She applied for the job while still serving on the HDA board and then accepted the position before stepping down.
It is not clear what relationship Adler and Lester have but the former had previously featured in this newspaper after having appointed his sister-in-law, Josie Adler, as a consultant for the HDA.
Documents reveal that Lester accepted the position in November last year but only resigned from the board in January.
The document further states that the board took Adler to task, noting that "the conduct of the chief executive officer and the concerned board member has brought dissatisfaction among staff".
The board further slated Lester for having "developed interest in holding a management position in the operations of the agency" and having undermined the governance integrity of the agency by applying for the job while still serving on its board.
Lester was further criticised for enjoying an unfair advantage over other candidates and that her "personal interests in the position undermined her objectivity, duty of care and diligence".
The board recommended an inquiry into Lester's conduct as well as appropriate actions to be taken or that she "be directed to withdraw her application" for the GM position.
Further recommendations included a probe into Adler's conduct.
In a letter addressed to Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale in January, Lester resigned from the HDA board and requested that the minister backdate the resignation to August 2011.
Sexwale was also criticised for not responding swiftly to the problems affecting the agency, but he rejected this.
"In the event of any wrongdoing the minister, as is well known, will act swiftly and our action will be loud and clear," his office said yesterday.
"At the same time, if this is a smear campaign it will be dealt with mercilessly."
Kate Shand of HDA had not responded to questions by the time of going to press. - firstname.lastname@example.org