An independent contractor was given "carte blanche" to buy fibre-optic cable worth several million rand on behalf of the eThekwini Municipality, allegedly breaching the city's supply chain management policies.
This was the testimony of
Govender, who was fired in 2010, claims that trumped-up misconduct charges were used to dismiss him from his job after he reported irregularities and corruption occurring within the IT department of the municipal Geographic Information and Policy Office, which was headed by
Some of the allegations made by Govender form part of the Manase Report into fraud and corruption in the city released earlier this year.
Govender has asked the court to order his reinstatement and compensation equivalent to two years' salary.
Yesterday Govender said Subban introduced a consultant,
However, Govender alleged that Benjamin began to take over his position and control his department's expenditure.
"Benjamin was making orders for goods for the fibre-optic cable project, which fell under my department, and signing off on payments. He was giving instructions to my staff and contractors but he was not a municipal employee.
He was being paid by his employer, Tolata, which was being paid by the city. What he was doing was in breach of the municipality's policies."
He said he asked Benjamin, in an e-mail, sent in
He said Benjamin did not respond, but a reply, purportedly from Subban's e-mail address said: "If you suspect there is misconduct bring that to my attention. I am unaware of
Govender claimed Subban's |e-mail was a "lie".
"Several confirmation of payment documents, which authorises the treasury department to release money for goods purchased, were signed by Benjamin and Subban. Her signature is on them, so she cannot say she was unaware."
He added that after meeting twice with former city manager
He claims Sutcliffe replied and told him to "direct requests for explanation to his head (Subban)".
Sutcliffe also allegedly said there was "nothing irregular" in a head (Subban) giving signing rights on budgets to other "members of staff".
"You have no right to claim normal administrative procedures as irregular unless you have the proof that they are," read the e-mail, purportedly from Sutcliffe.
Govender said he was surprised by the e-mail because it ordered him to go to Subban, who he believed was part of the problem.
"How could I go to Subban, because she is the one who is co-signing the documents and is involved in all of it? Furthermore, I was talking about Benjamin, who was an outsider, a consultant, but Sutcliffe refers to him as a 'member of staff'."
The case continues.
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