A senior public works department employee has become the first official involved in the upgrades of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead to take the fall for the R246 million project, City Press reported on Sunday.
Itumeleng Molosi, 58, director of projects, pleaded guilty to irregularly appointing contractors and flouting procurement procedures, the newspaper reported, according to information from “department insiders”.
Molosi would keep his job after the department imposed a two-month suspension without pay and a final written warning.
Molosi signed the deal last Monday after writing to the department about his intention to plead guilty.
Molosi reportedly blamed officials, including himself, who felt pressured into cutting corners and taking short cuts because the project involved the president’s home.
Eleven other officials, all represented by the Public Servants Association (PSA), may sign similar deals to avoid lengthy hearings, the newspaper reported.
Roshan Lil-Ruthan, the PSA labour officer representing the officials, said his clients intended to tell the hearings they also felt pressured into speeding up the Nkandla upgrades.