Johannesburg waste-management company Pikitup on Friday fired its controversial managing director Amanda Nair with immediate effect following the findings of an independent forensic investigation into allegations of recruitment, remuneration and procurement irregularities against her.
“The Board of Pikitup has decided that it is in the best interest of the company, a wholly owned entity of the City of Johannesburg, its shareholder, employees and the residents of the City of Johannesburg to end the relationship of employment with [Nair] with immediate effect,” Pikitup said in a statement.
“The Board has consulted with and received support for its decisions over the period from the former and then the current political leadership of the City in their capacity as shareholder.”
Nair went on “special leave” in April following a unprotected five-week strike by Pikitup workers affiliated to the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) after the union accused her of impropriety and corruption.
The allegations against Nair were also reported to the Public Protector and an investigation into more possible irregularities was under way.
The independent forensic investigation into these allegations was completed by SM Xulu and Qhubeka Forensic Services in June.
On Friday the Pikitup board said it was of the view the relationship of trust with Nair had broken down irreversibly.
“In addition to the facts and evidence related to procurement and disclosure, the forensic investigation and the misconduct enquiry, correspondence with Ms Nair has become increasingly vexatious, politicised and hostile to the former and current leadership of the Board and the City,” Pikitup said.
“In a similar vein, it is clear that Nair would have considerable difficulty in creating a relationship of trust with organised labour, and providing the leadership necessary to create harmonious workplace relations, a reasonable expectation of an MD in any company.”
Pikitup said the board had taken action against Nair for violation of her duties as an accounting officer in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act and had issued her with a letter of demand to recover acting allowances and remuneration in excess of upper limits paid to employees without due authorisation.
“We have also reserved the right to recover any further amounts which may be uncovered, including any amounts that may arise from the recommendations by the Public Protector. Legal action in the civil courts will be instituted against Ms Nair in terms of section 176 (2) of the Municipal Finance Management Act to recover the losses suffered by Pikitup if need be,” Pikitup said.
“The amount that is being claimed by Pikitup will be held in a trust account pending the resolution of the claim.”
Speaking to ANA over the phone, Pikitup spokesperson Jacky Mashapu dismissed allegations that Nair’s dismissal was a decision taken by the Democratic Alliance, which took over the administration of Johannesburg from the African National Congress, after the August 3 Local Government Elections.
“The decision was a consultative process between the former and current leadership of the City,” Mashapu said.
“The Joburg Water managing director [Lungile Dlamini] will continue acting in the position until a permanent MD is found.”
– African News Agency (ANA)