Suspended PPRA CEO now faces criminal charges
MAIN IMAGE: Minister of Human Settlements, Mmamoloko Kubayi; Suspended PPRA Board Chair, Mamodupi Mohlala; Steven Ngubeni, Chairman of the PPRA Board
The PPRA announced on Wednesday the commencement of criminal charges against the suspended CEO of the Board, Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi, who will be served with the charge sheet on Friday 15 July 2022.
The charges are the result of a series of allegations of misconduct and corruption aimed at Mulaudzi and brought to the attention of the Minister of Human Settlements by a whistle blower in December 2021.
The board of the PPRA will now subject the CEO to a disciplinary inquiry, based on the outcome of the investigations thus far.
Jan le Roux, Rebosa CE, in his reaction welcomed the findings of the forensic investigations and said that the investigation was in the best interest of both the industry and property practitioners.
“We called for decisive intervention by the PPRA board for some time. Discrediting the entire board and its chairman, Steven Ngubeni, without cause is harmful. We are hopeful that the PPRA Board will remain resolute and determined to finalise the investigations and decisively act on the findings and especially believe the board should act on appointments illegally made,” said Le Roux.
According to Thapelo Kgari, company secretary of the PPRA, the forensic investigation into various allegations against Mulaudzi initially made by a whistle blower to the Minister of Human Settlements, Mmamoloko Kubayi, in December 2021 has been finalised on certain aspects, including those of the irregular appointment of service providers, irregular expenditure, fraud, intentional misrepresentation of facts with intend to defraud and irregular procurement processes.
“The charge sheet will be served on the suspended CEO on Friday, 15 July 2022 and will thereafter be publicised of course with respect to the fairness of the procedure. Further charges will also be finalised and covering amongst other items, the irregular appointments of staff members, appointments of individuals with previous work history in the same organisation on previous instance with the suspended CEO with such people appointed without following the recruitment process and ensuring that competent and suitable people were appointed to these positions.
“Allegations were also made of the contravention of the pension fund legislation by failing to make contributions to the pension fund, irregular appointments of personnel including flouting processes, appointing against the non-existing positions and appointing under-qualified persons.”
In a statement read by Pamela Makubeka, a PPRA board member, the PPRA said it had appointed forensic investigating company Kettle Consulting to investigate all the allegations against the CEO and the other implicated personnel. The investigation is still on going.
“The board has received a report from the investigators decrying the refusal and reluctance to cooperate by the implicated personnel, including the CEO. However, the investigators have managed to finalise investigating some of the allegations to their attention. Based on the serious nature of the allegations and the corresponding findings, pointed out by the investigations thus far, the board has resolved to prefer charges against the CEO and those implicated,” Makubeka said.
Some of the alleged transgression being investigated against Mulaudzi include:
- She did not follow Human Resources (HR) policy or provisions of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) or the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA) or Protected Disclosures Act.
- She appointed officials at the PPRA for positions that are not on the organisational structure.
- At least five (5) PPRA officials are not contributing to the pension fund in terms of their employment contract. It is alleged that both employee and company contributions are not being made to the PPRA Pension Fund.
- Various irregular personnel appointments.
- Obtaining funds to develop an App which never came to fruition. More than R3,6 million is involved in this transaction.
- Transgression of numerous procurement requirements leading to irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. There was no vetting performed on suppliers before awarding contracts.
- Payment for study guides was done without delivery.
- An amount of R378 000.00 was paid for catering for 120 persons when the Namibia Estate Agents Board delegates visited for three days whilst not more than 30 South African PPRA persons and 3 Namibian Estate Agents Board delegates participated in the event at the PPRA offices in Sandton.
- She caused major reputational damage to the industry by her alleged unlawful conduct being investigated.
- Various allegations of misconduct, fraud, misrepresentation, not allowing competitive bidding in for services and products and irregular double payments to one company for the same undelivered services.
Steven Ngubeni, chairman of the PPRA board, gave details of the transgressions against Mulaudzi and emphasised the seriousness of the allegations, some of which have now been proved to be true.
“The charges will be put to her by Friday or Monday at the latest. We are happy with the progress so far and will persue the issue until all the guilty parties have been removed from the system. The investigation is not only aimed at the suspended CEO, but also against other individuals and companies she colluded with in this process. In one instance an amount of approximately R3,6 million was mismanaged and partly paid to a service provider without any services or goods being delivered. We will try to recoup those and other funds as part of our process. The decisions were made as a collective by the board and we have also engaged with the Public Protector about the charges and the current investigations,” Ngubeni said.