Bongani Maseko. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Bongani Maseko. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Airports Company of SA (Acsa) employees are campaigning to remove Bongani Maseko, the CEO of the state-owned company, based on forensic reports recommending disciplinary action against him and three senior managers over alleged violations of the Public Finance Management Act.

The managers — Percy Sithole (procurement), Jabulani Khambule (regional airports) and legal counsel Bongani Machobane — were found guilty at an internal disciplinary hearing on corruption charges and of wasteful and fruitless expenditure. They were suspended on full pay. Acsa’s board also resolved to act against Maseko, but it had not done so.

The group of "concerned employees" has provided copies of e-mailed letters (dated January 2018) to the Presidency, the transport and finance departments and the public protector, in which it appeals for action against personnel named in two forensic reports. The first was a 2015 report by Deloitte and a second by Dr VS Mncube Consulting in 2016.

In its letters, the author said: "We ask that the honourable president of SA [and ministers] take action to deal with the corruption allegations against our Acsa CEO without waiting for another high court decision that will force them to [act]."

Presidency spokeswoman Khusela Diko said it was not aware of any such letter.

The group demands that Maseko be disciplined before his term as CEO finishes at the end of March 2018. "[The] government cannot extend the Acsa CEO’s term beyond March 2018 as he has corruption charges and has a criminal case reported by the Acsa board that he has to answer to."

Acsa’s board was expected to implement the recommendations for dismissal by the end of February 2018, but this had not transpired, according to the group’s letter.

The forensic investigations arose from several charges of gross misconduct related to, among other accusations, the unlawful eviction of an Acsa tenant, the improper dismissal of a staff member, obstruction of an investigation instituted by a service provider and failure to prevent irregular and wasteful expenditure.

Undisclosed details

An Acsa spokesman confirmed that Transport Minister Blade Nzimande had communicated with the board on the matter, but said that the details could not be disclosed.

In a related development earlier in March, Acsa group legal counsel Bonginkosi Mfusi obtained a court order compelling Acsa to provide reasons for not having suspended and disciplined Maseko. The order was subsequently rescinded over a procedural error.

Mfusi said the process was on track to continue at a later court date.