Source: South Africa News Agency
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has successfully interdicted the Municipal Employees Union Retirement Fund from paying pension benefits due to former Lepelle Northern Water chief executive (CEO) Phineas Kgahliso Legodi.
This comes after the Special Tribunal granted an application to interdict the pension after Legodi resigned from his position while under investigation for a multi-billion rand water project in Giyani, in Limpopo.
The project was meant to benefit about 50 villages in the district. Lepelle Northern Water had been appointed by the Department of Water and Sanitation appointed to oversee the project.
“The Special Tribunal granted the SIU a temporary order on 17 December 2020 after the initial order was declared to have lapsed on 24 November and called on the Respondents to show cause, before the Tribunal on 21 January 2021 on why the interim order should not be confirmed,” said the SIU.
In the statement, the SIU said its probe had uncovered information which suggests that Lepelle Northern Water had illegally awarded a contract to a third party to work on the project.
“The SIU felt it prudent to secure the pension of the former CEO in order to finalize the investigation,” reads the statement.
“Once the investigation is completed, the SIU intends to bring a formal application to the Special Tribunal to recover any losses suffered by the State as a result of the alleged irregular award of the contract.”
Welcoming the order, SIU head advocate Andy Mothibi emphasised that the resignation from employment only terminates the employer and employee relationship.
“The SIU will pursue civil litigation against any official if there is an indication that they have caused damage to the public purse,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za