Sisulu piles heat on axed water board bosses

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By: Sello Theletsane

JOHANNESBURG- The Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation has laid criminal charges against suspended chief executive officers of Lepelle and Amatola Water Boards.

To compound the problems of the two chief executives, Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is suing Amatola Water chief executive Vuyo Zitumane and her Lepelle Northern Water counterpart, Phineas Legodi for their defamatory charade made against her in their affidavits. In their affidavits filed a last months, affidavits that sources have since revealed they are bogus, the two suspended chief executive officers claimed they were being targeted because they were standing in the way of efforts to manipulate tenders and appoint a well-connected company for drought relief programmes.

Zitumane and Legodi both stated in affidavits that the ministry tried to pressure them into using a technology called sand water abstraction, to extract water from sandy riverbeds. However it has since been established that the affidavits were bogus and were never filed with any law enforcement agencies.

In a statement, departmental spokesperson, Yonela Diko said the department was satisfied that even though the forensic investigations took longer than expected, they were thorough, detailed, and extensive.

“The Department is working very closely with law enforcement agencies and has a very strong team of lawyers to deal with all the various aspects of the cases before it. As it has been previously indicated the department has appointed advocate Terry Motau and has now also taken the services of Prof Dario Milo and Advocate Barry Roux to strengthen the legal team.” Diko added that Prof Milo and Barry Roux “were very keen to join the work of fixing the various state entities under the department”.

“The department has taken a decision that it will not allow people who are employed and paid by the state to go rogue and undermine the authority of the state. The Department won’t allow individuals to use institutions of government as fiefdom of corruption and embezzlement.”

“People who are in Public Administration, that includes all state institutions are expected to abide by certain rules and regulations and are expected to have a certain level of professional ethics.”

The Minister has been passionate about fighting corruption throughout her time as the member of the executive. In this particular case, she made a public commitment in parliament upon assumption of this responsibility, and has been progressively dealing with all aspects of “corruption in the department.

Diko said the Department was proud of its work in rooting out corruption and promises the people of South Africa that it would stay the course until that work done.

“This is just the beginning,” warned Diko.