Seta boss accused of nepotism and employing his girlfriend

Seta boss accused of nepotism and employing his girlfriend

- A Seta boss, Oupa Mopaki, has been accused of awarding contracts to his nephew

- It's also alleged that the CEO of the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT Seta) employed his girlfriend and gave her lucrative promotions and salary increases

- He now faces a disciplinary hearing and possibly a criminal case too

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Another government official has been implicated in nepotism.

This time, it's Oupa Mopaki, the CEO of the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT Seta). Mopaki stands accused of apparently assisting his nephew in scoring huge deals, as well as for appointing his girlfriend and promoting her without following the correct procedures.

More than a year ago, claims surfaced that Mopaki did not declare his interest in companies that made millions from the Seta he runs.

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City Press reported at the time that it was believed Mopaki was colluding with Tebogo Mashigwane, his nephew, . learned that City Press saw documents in which it stated Mashigwane was the director of Network Infraco. His name was also on contracts between the Seta and two other companies, Lylacorp and Bandwidth Technologies.

Sources close to the matter also claimed Mopaki was in a relationship with Naledi Sibandze. Sibandze was the former corporate services senior manager at the Seta. Questions were raised about her appointment as a temporary supply chain officer when she was employed in 2009.

A source, who was a former employee within the human resources department, blew the whistle recently.

The former employee claimed in an affidavit that he suspected Mopaki and Sibandze were involved in an intimate relationship. The employee then opened a case at the Vosloorus Police Station in May 2018. It's believed the charged was laid after he was interviewed by the Gobodo Forensic and Investigative Accounting investigators in February.

The investigation related to irregularities in the awarding of discretionary grants and recruitment processes at the Seta, News24 reported.

Vosloorus Police Station confirmed it's investigating a case of intimidation againstMopaki and Sibandze. According to the charge sheet, two employees exposed the dealings at the Seta.

According to the Gobodo investigation, it was found Sibandze's employment was flawed. It's alleged that Mopaki increased her salary from R250 000 a year to R350 000 a year before she was made a permanent employee.

It was further found that Mopaki helped her be promoted, while her salary continued to increase annually to over R1 million a year.

After making a deal, Sibandze left the Seta after reaching a deal with its management.

The investigation suggested that disciplinary action be taken against the CEO and his alleged lover. Gobodo said the Seta should start a legal process to recover the funds it lost in the irregular awarding of contracts, as well as non-payment of stipends to students, who were interns at the time.

Xabiso Matshikiza, MICT Seta spokesperson, refused to comment on the allegations that Mopaki and Sibandze were in a relationship. Matshikiza confirmed they were no longer employed by the Seta.

Matshikiza said Mopaki’s contract was not renewed in March.

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She said Mopaki will face a disciplinary hearing on charges of misconduct.

Although Mopaki tried to challenge the charge at the Labour Court on the grounds of constructive dismissal, the matter was dismissed.

He now has a pending case open with the Gauteng High Court, challenging the Seta's decision not to keep him.

Sihle Ngubane, the Seta's board chairman, reported a criminal case against Mopaki and his co-accused at the Midrand Police Station.

Matshikiza said:

“The criminal offences are in relation to fraud, corruption, the contravention of the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999, and the contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004. Civil proceedings against Mr Mopaki and his co-perpetrators for the recovery of damages suffered by the Seta, will be instituted in due course.”

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