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Chief directors in North West premier's office suspended over R240m fraud allegations

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Chief directors in North West premier's office suspended over R240m fraud allegations

North West Premier Job Mokgoro

16th November 2018

By: News24Wire

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Two senior North West officials have been suspended for allegedly defrauding the province of almost a quarter of a billion rand over a two-year period.

Provincial spokesperson Vuyisile Ngesi said Chief Director of Communications, Brian Setswambung, and the Chief Director of Government Information Technology Officer (GITO), Mothusi Toka, were served with letters of suspension earlier this week.

Ngesi said their suspension came after the Auditor General’s report on the NEPO Data Dynamics contract and alleged irregular payments to the service provider.

"The NEPO Data Dynamics contract was intended to modernise the ICT system of the office of the premier, as well as the entire North West provincial government.

"The AGSA’s report directly implicates the two chief directors with regards to their area of responsibility, and the premier is of the view that they should be suspended with immediate effect to allow them time to answer to the allegations around their roles in the alleged irregular payments," he said.

The contract was initially awarded to the company in 2016 and would have ended in 2019. But, due to the Auditor General’s report, the contract was cancelled immediately by Premier Job Mokgoro.

"The Auditor General found that the payments amounted to more than 20 times the initial contract agreement. The initial contract agreement between the office of the premier and NEPO Data Dynamics was for R12-million over three years but, so far, over R240-million has already been paid to the service provider," he said.

NEPO Data Dynamics has been notified by Mokgoro’s office about the decision to terminate its contract with immediate effect.

According to Mokgoro, the suspensions were necessitated as Setswambung and Toka should answer to the AGSA’s findings against them.

"The premier added that investigations are still ongoing, and attention has been given to the role other officials might have played in the irregular payments to NEPO Data Dynamics.

"These include officials still in the employ of the North West provincial government as well as those that might have left the government but were employed at the time the contract was in place," Ngesi said.

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