Officials probed over R25,5m tender scam

CHARGED: Phuti Mabelebele. 16/03/07.

Phuti Mabelebele, senior manager communications. © Unknown.
CHARGED: Phuti Mabelebele. 16/03/07. Phuti Mabelebele, senior manager communications. © Unknown.

Selby Makgotho

Seven high-ranking officials in the Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport appeared before a disciplinary hearing yesterday on charges of misconduct.

The officials, who served on the department's tender committee, were charged with gross irregularities in connection with tenders for R25,5 million.

Illegal expenditure was allegedly authorised by former department head, Ben Mehale, to be used for the International Transport Convention (ITC) in 2005.

Walter Sathekge, the general manager for road traffic and safety; Phuthi Mabelebele, senior communications manager; Nomsa Masango, senior manager (information technology); William Hlongwane, senior manager (Capricorn district); Appelles Leshaba (project manager for the ITC); Monty Mohapi, senior manager (records and facilities); and NF Dhumazi, the chief financial officer, appeared briefly before the departmental disciplinary hearing.

They face charges that include gross misconduct, gross negligence, non-compliance with policy and procedure, misuse of funds, and fraud and corruption.

They have been charged internally, but have not yet been suspended.

The action against the officials follows a forensic audit that they were professionally negligent in awarding contracts, especially the lucrative ones.

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