The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) raided the offices of the Department of Communications and seized computers in its probe of a publicity tender worth R756 million. This is according to a report on the Sunday Independent newspaper.
The report said that the SIU confiscated the “laptops and desktop computers of director-general Rosey Sekese, her two deputy director generals Themba Phiri and Sam Vilakazi, the director of supply chain management Lindiwe Nkwe and several junior staffers in the department”.
The report further stated that investigators also “went into the department’s server and downloaded e-mails that would form part of the investigation”.
In February the SABC reported that President Jacob Zuma authorised the Special Investigating Unit to investigate a R756 million publicity tender with Media Corner. The tender was intended to create awareness about digital terrestrial television.
According to the allegation, payments of around R40 million were made to the company without proof of any work being completed.
The Sunday World reported that the investigation was set to “blow open an alleged plot to loot over R756 million from the Department of Communications”.
In related news former communications minister Dina Pule’s spin doctor, Wisani Ngobeni, has lost his bid for whistle-blower protection related to exposing possible wrongdoing related to the publicity tender worth R756 million. This is according to a report in the Sunday Times.
Judge AJ Tlhotlhalemaje ruled that Ngobeni did indeed demonstrate that he has made a protected disclosure, which was made in good faith.
However, the ruling stated that Ngobeni was not entitled to have disciplinary action against him set aside, because “the intended disciplinary action will not constitute an occupational detriment, that he has not established what irreparable harm he would suffer, and further that he has alternative remedies”.
Ngobeni accused communications Director-General Rosey Sekese and her deputy, Sam Vilakazi, of irregular expenditure regarding this project. This, he said, led to a crusade against him to try to get rid of him at the DoC.
However, the DoC said that before Ngobeni made these accusations an investigation into his ‘improper’ appointment of another service provider was underway.
Judge Tlhotlhalemaje dismissed Ngobeni’s application to protect him against disciplinary action.