PUBLIC Works Minister Geoff Doidge has fired his department's acting director-general for refusing to grant a R45million contract to a law firm he previously hired for personal matters," a Sunday newspaper reported.
Doidge fired Solly Malebye for refusing to grant the contract to Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer without putting out a tender.
The mandate of the firm is to provide forensic legal investigations for the department.
Malebye reportedly told the minister that awarding the company the contract was in breach of Treasury regulations. Doidge sent Malebye a text message on November 3 informing him that he was relieved of his duties.
On the same day Doidge appointed Sam Vukela, who was acting chief operating officer, as acting director-general and gave him instructions in a text message to investigate and suspend Malebye, the paper reported.
The SMS read: "Given the direct involvement of the COO in the Virtual Buro contract, I am of the firm view that he should be placed on (cautionary) suspension with immediate effect, so that he does not interfere with the investigations and that the investigators have unhindered access to all information, documents and personnel that they may have to interrogate, please let me have your urgent response in this regard.
"The second reason is that he refused to carry out an instruction from me to appoint Cliffe Dekker by October 15 (this not the serious offence) - Minister."
The offence Doidge wants Malebye to be probed on allegedly happened 18 months ago. - Sapa