Pretoria: The Gauteng Provincial Government has dismissed the head of the Gauteng Department of Finance, Stuart Lumka, for financial misconduct.
In a statement on Tuesday, the provincial government said on 30 April, Premier David Makhura informed Lumka of government’s decision to terminate his services. This after an independent disciplinary hearing found Lumka guilty of gross financial misconduct and recommended his dismissal.
Lumka was placed on special leave in May 2014 following an Ernst and Young investigation of allegations of financial impropriety.
Lumka’s financial misconduct relates to his authorisation of payments of R48.8 million to Shimo IT Solutions while government had no contract with the company and therefore no financial obligations.
Lumka was also charged with acknowledging liability in favour of Novell Ireland Software Limited and Shimo when he was not authorised to do so and that the payments, which were not due, were irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
Lumka also incurred and/or caused the GDF to incur irregular expenditure of R2.1 million when he signed the Shimo Project charter. Shimo was not procured in a fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effect manner and through an open tender process.
Lumka caused the GDF to incur fruitless expenditure when he paid Shimo a cancellation fee of R1 million.
Lumka was found guilty on the first two charges, which amounted to over R50 million. He was acquitted on the third charge.
The chairman of the disciplinary tribunal said the only appropriate sanction was dismissal as he had abused his position of trust.
“The evidence shows that Mr Lumka was derelict in an egregious manner in his conduct pertaining to the charges for which I found him guilty. He ignored not only legal advice but went against a prior collective decision that there be no further payment to Novell,” the chairman said when pronouncing sanction.
The chairman further rejected Lumka’s representation that he had merely exercised “poor judgement”. He said Lumka was unrepentant about his conduct during the course of the hearing.
The province has also requested the State Attorney to advise regarding whether to institute criminal and/or a civil case against Lumka to recover monies misappropriated. The province is awaiting the outcome of the opinion from the State Attorney.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS