Johannesburg - Another senior Sentech executive has been suspended days after he had resigned at the state-owned broadcast signal distributor.
Maxwell Nonge, Sentech's outgoing head of operations and maintenance, was last Friday suspended for allegedly leaking information about financial mismanagement and irregular spending at the embattled parastatal.
However, Nonge has denied that his suspension was linked to an article published in City Press on August 1 which detailed how Ntumba Incorporated, auditors of a company owned by Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda
, authorised six payments worth R1.1m to themselves and the board member who hired them.
Nonge said: "It is true that I have resigned from Sentech but it is not true that I resigned after I was accused of being a whistleblower. I am leaving Sentech for personal reasons."
He declined to reveal why he had been suspended, but maintained that he had done nothing untoward.
"I have not underperformed and have not stolen any money from Sentech," he said.
Nonge's suspension follows that of chief financial officer Mohammed Cassim, who was put on ice at the end of June.
Cassim was suspended along with former Sentech acting chief executive Beverly Ngwenya
for alleged gross negligence and reckless spending. Ngwenya quit last month after disciplinary charges were brought against her, but Cassim is fighting his suspension in court.
Sentech spokesperson Nthabeleng Mokitimi declined to comment publicly about the departure of Nonge and head of communications Polly Modiko.
She said: "Due to the sensitivity of the issues in question, Sentech deems it inappropriate to deal with the matters in the media before completing the processes.
"Sentech would therefore appreciate it if City Press gave due consideration to the conclusion of the company's internal procedures."
Barely a month ago, Nonge's star was on the rise after he was appointed part of a triumvirate of executives to lead Sentech until a full-time CEO was appointed.
He and Jayselan Coopsamy, the general manager for financial management, were hand-picked to assist acting chief operating officer Dingane Dube at the helm of the organisation, which is projected to run at a R214m loss this year.
Nonge's division employs 380 of Sentech's 550-member workforce.
City Press reported on August 1 that auditors Melusi Ntumba and Vhonani Mathebula from Ntumba Incorporated authorised six payments to the tune of R1.1m to themselves and Mesuli Dhlamini, a board member who employed them.
These payments were made between April 30 and May 26 while Cassim was still on the parastatal's payroll as chief financial officer.
Ntumba Incorporated audits Abalozi Security Risk Advisory Service, a company owned by Nyanda through a family trust.
Under the Public Finance Management Act, non-officials and consultants are not allowed to authorise payments.
- City Press