The Zondo commission has set its sights on sector education and training authorities (Setas).
City Press has learnt that among targeted Setas is the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) on allegations that anonymous whistle-blowers had submitted a dossier detailing how the Seta board had, over the years, allegedly disregarded recommendations of forensic investigations by seeking legal advice as an attempt not to act against rogue executives.
The dossier, which City Press has seen, contains other allegations including sexual abuse of female staff members, as well as executives in senior management who lied about their qualifications in CVs.
The executives mentioned in the dossier still work at the Seta.
MQA board chairperson David Msiza confirmed that they received a request from the Zondo commission on June 3 for specific documents from the Seta.
Msiza, however, said he understood the commission’s request as a standard request addressed to a wide range of public entities.
“The MQA responded to the request and provided all the relevant documents by July 5 2019,” Msiza said.
The board, he said, was unaware of a dossier submitted to the commission and had not been contacted by the commission in this regard.
But, Msiza said, they had been copied into an anonymous email on July 24, which raised a number of matters dating back several years and referred to investigation reports conducted by the Seta.
“In the main, these matters have previously been investigated and addressed by the MQA. In this regard, the MQA board initiated various forensic and other investigations into allegations of misconduct and maladministration, including into the matters raised in the anonymous email. The board correctly obtained independent legal advice on the findings and recommendations of the relevant investigations and acted on this advice. On the basis of this advice, the board conducted further forensic investigations, took disciplinary steps against implicated staff, instituted legal proceedings against service providers and reported matters to [the Hawks] in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004,” Msiza said.
He said the board is well aware of its fiduciary duties and responsibilities, and treats allegations of maladministration with the utmost seriousness.
“In my view, the board has acted responsibly and taken the necessary steps to deal with irregularities brought to its attention.
“I wish to assure all stakeholders that the MQA will cooperate fully with any further inquiry by the commission and with any investigation into the matters which the MQA has reported to the Hawks,” he said.
Mfundo Mdingi, acting chief executive of the MQA, said they were, along with other Setas, requested to provide a number of documents, which were provided electronically to the commission.
“Should you wish to obtain detailed information pertaining to the electronic submissions made, please contact the Zondo commission directly,” Mdingi said.
Zondo commission spokesperson Mbuyiselo Stemela had neither responded to questions at the time of writing nor confirmed whether the commission had received the scathing dossier.