SIU wants to reinstate interdict that froze pension of former department of agriculture CFO
The Special Investigating Unit says it will urgently bring an application to prevent the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) from paying out pension benefits to former department of agriculture CFO Jacob Basil Hlatshwayo.
This reaction followed a declaration by the Special Tribunal on Monday that the interdict granted to the SIU in December, not to pay the pension benefit due to Hlatshwayo, has lapsed. This means that the GEPF can pay Hlatshwayo's pension benefits after his dismissal from the department in October last year.
In December last year, the SIU successfully applied to interdict the GEPF from paying the benefits after its investigation into tender irregularities at the department.
Special Tribunal judge Lebogang Modiba granted the interdict on condition that the SIU institutes an action against Hlatshwayo by March 1. This did not happen, and this led to the lapse of the interdict.
The SIU on Wednesday said it was in the process of serving the summons on Hlatshwayo, as well as the GEPF, wherein it claims for the losses suffered by the department.
“The SIU will urgently bring an application in the Special Tribunal to revive a lapsed interdict barring the GEPF from paying out pension benefits due to Jacob Hlatshwayo,” SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said.
He said the SIU investigations in the awarding of a personal protective equipment contract in the department uncovered that Hlatshwayo allegedly had a hand in the irregular and unlawful award of a contract to the value of R11.5m.
The award was in breach of the instructions issued by the National Treasury to regulate emergency procurement in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The SIU will use its legislative powers to ensure that GEPF does not release pension benefits due to Hlatshwayo pending the action the unit instituted against him to recover any losses suffered by the state.”