Tshivhase remains suspended from Lepelle Water board over bribery allegations

Kennedy Tshivhase.
Kennedy Tshivhase.

The suspended chairperson of the board of Lepelle Northern Water (LNW), Midiyavhathu Kennedy Tshivhase, has lost his bid to overturn his suspension.

The Tshivhase dynasty head chief approached the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane yesterday to force the board to overturn water and sanitation minister Gugile Nkwinti's decision to suspend him.

Nkwinti ratified Tshivhase's suspension after allegations that he had been receiving bribes from contractors doing business with the parastatal.

Among the allegations were that Tshivhase had received a luxury car from Thulani Majola, the owner of LTE Consulting Engineers, which was awarded a R100m emergency tender to fix the water problems in Giyani.

The contract has since ballooned to R3bn.

The court yesterday ruled in favour of the board and ordered Tshivhase to pay the legal costs. Tshivhase will have to pay for the costs of Nkwinti's lawyers and the lawyers of the board of LNW, amounting to around R600,000.

The court also ruled that the allegations against Tshivhase must be referred to the NPA for criminal prosecution.

Speaking on behalf of the LNW board, acting chairperson Harold Matsepe said he had noted the court judgment.

"As the board we will decide on a way forward in the next board meeting.

"For now there is nothing that warrants an urgent board meeting unless the minister wants us to attend to matters relating to the outcomes of the court," Matsepe said.

Tshivhase could not be reached for comment yesterday. His lawyer Dalton Rapetsoa said he did not have any instructions from his client.

"I don't have instructions for now until further notice."

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