Behind Nedlac’s suspension of executive director Vilakazi
The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) has placed its executive director Madoda Vilakazi on precautionary suspension pending an investigation into his leadership at the organisation.
The suspension is the second at the labour department entity just months after its highly praised work on the formulation of the national minimum wage policy, which was recently enacted.
Although Nedlac would not provide the reasons for the suspension, Business Day understands Vilakazi was suspended for failing to prevent financial mismanagement and incidents of conflict of interest at the entity, while he was also alleged to have been implicated in the irregular appointment of service providers.
In November, Vilakazi placed Nedlac CFO Mfanufikile Daza on suspension for allegedly not adhering to the body’s procurement policies, among others.
At the time Vilakazi pleaded innocence, saying the financial irregularities at Nedlac were being blown out of proportion.
The management committee decided to place Vilakazi on suspension in December while “internal processes on both suspensions unfold and are considered by relevant structures”, Nedlac spokesperson Tidimalo Chuene said.
She said head of programme operations Nobuntu Sibisi will act as executive director.
In November Nedlac’s management committee received the findings of a forensic investigation that was launched after auditor-general Kimi Makwetu flagged the body’s irregular expenditure and failure to act in line with the Public Finance Management Act.
The report recommended that “disciplinary action” be taken against Vilakazi and Daza.
Although labour minister Mildred Oliphant said at the time that the matter would be concluded in four weeks, that timeline has not been met.
She said the management committee comprising of labour, business and government representatives, had moved swiftly to deal with the matter and “all officials concerned had been called to account”.
However, Nedlac has stalled on a similar case involving its former executive director Herbert Mkhize, who was found to have used the organisation’s funds on personal purchases.