Department 'hit by road scandal'

THE head of the North West department of public works, roads and transport, Nic van Staden, and his chief financial officer, Kwekwu Odami-Takyi, were yesterday suspended pending an investigation into their alleged involvement in the awarding of contracts.

Departmental spokesperson Matshube Mfoloe said the two had been on forced leave since December 2.

Mfoloe said the investigation against Van Staden and Odami-Takyi would focus on their alleged role in the awarding of a number of road contracts.

"The MEC (Mahlakeng Mahlakeng) has confirmed that the department 'may have been hit' by a multi-million rand road scandal after a two-month investigation by forensic firm PriceWatershouseCoopers into the patterns of expenditure and procurement procedures in respect of the appointment of consultants and contractors by the roads directorate," Mfoloe said.

Mfoloe said the roads directorate had depleted by 100percent their allocated budget of R525million in the first threemonths of the current financial year.