Cape Town – Eskom fired its purchasing manager (CPO), Solly Tshitangano, with immediate effect following a guilty verdict in his disciplinary process.
The electricity utility said in a statement on Friday that it had been charged with serious misconduct, breach of obligations and non-performance. He was suspended in February for failing to submit key strategic and regulatory documents on time, abusive or insolent behavior to his boss, and failing to report irregularities as soon as he became aware of them.
Tshitangano, who had failed to bypass Eskom’s purchasing division, chose not to testify in his own defense. Eskom had relied on the testimony of two witnesses and the forensic findings of the Bowmans law firm.
Its legal representatives had the opportunity to cross-examine Eskom’s witnesses. Although his legal team argued that Tshitangano was a victim of whistleblowing, the chairman of the disciplinary committee dismissed this, saying it was an attempt to distract from Tshitangano’s conduct.
Eskom dismisses purchasing manager Solly Tshitangano with immediate effect following guilty verdict in disciplinary process@SABCNews@eNCA@ewnupdates @SundayTimesZA @ News24 @SowetanLIVE @IOL pic.twitter.com/o4iJNCKAOG
– Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) May 28, 2021
The president ruled there was no choice but to fire Tshitangano, who accused Eskom CEO André de Ruyter of “racist manipulation of black officials and black suppliers who were continually harassed” .
“The president dismissed the defense on the basis of a protected disclosure, saying it was more of an attempt by the CPO to distract from his conduct.
“He declared Mr. Tshitangano guilty of five counts: serious misconduct for having failed in his duties, violating the law on the management of public finances and for having violated the disciplinary code of Eskom in what he disclosed confidential information to third parties, ”Eskom said.
Tshitangano was also accused of not disclosing his relationship with the utility provider. News24 reported after investigations that Tshitangano supported and awarded more than R8 billion in contracts to Econ Oil in 2019 despite evidence of irregularity and possible corruption involving Econ and Eskom officials at his disposal.
“The presiding judge, an independent lawyer, decided he would give the CPO an opportunity to respond to additional misconduct charges relating to Econ Oil’s relationship with Eskom and the CPO’s apparent support of the lawsuit. of that relationship after he joined Eskom in early 2019, before deciding on the protected disclosure request, ” Eskom said.
In 2005, Tshitangano faced a disciplinary hearing for 11 counts of misconduct while he was chief director of the provincial treasury in Mpumalanga. He was then transferred to the Prime Minister’s office.
Tshitangano was later appointed senior director of the finance section of the Limpopo Basic Education Department. He acted as the department’s chief financial officer in 2011 when he blew the lid on alleged corruption in a multimillion rand tender to provide the department with support materials for learners and teachers.
The contract was eventually canceled and the department failed to provide notebooks, textbooks and workbooks to hundreds of Limpopo students.