SA Weather Service board lashed

Parliament’s portfolio committee on environmental affairs has resolved to hold South African Weather Service (SAWS) board members personally liable for R2 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

The loss was incurred thanks to an “ill advised” decision to prematurely terminate the contract of former CEO Dr Linda Makuleni‚ who received a golden handshake as allegations of corruption swirled around the weather service.

The committee also called on Tuesday for the entire SAWS board to be removed due to their failure to exercise proper fiduciary duties.

“The Committee is of the view that this expenditure could have been avoided had the Board exercised reasonable care‚ and that SAWS did not derive any value from this expenditure and therefore it is classified as fruitless and wasteful expenditure‚ as defined by the PFMA (Public Finance Management Act)‚” said committee chairperson Philly Mapulane.

“We have‚ as the Committee responsible for oversight over this entity‚ consequently resolved that members of the Board of SAWS who voted for this reckless decision‚ which was arrived at without any formal written report presented to the Board nor any legal opinion obtained‚ should be personally be liable for this expenditure and they must pay back the money to the state‚” Mapulane said.

“We want to send a strong message to those who are in charge of the resources of the public that they must always exercise due care and diligence and follow the principles of good governance in dealing with tax payers’ money and that Parliament will effectively play its oversight role to hold them accountable‚” he said.