Acting boss at Pikitup named

Johannesburg - Pikitup has appointed Suren Maharaj to act as its managing director after the board suspended Amanda Nair over irregularities in the advertising of a R263 million tender.

Nair has been embroiled in a scandal surrounding the awarding of a tender last year to Aqua Transport Plant Hire, a firm that was implicated in wrongdoing despite the bid adjudication committee questioning her decision.

Amanda Nair has been embroiled in a tender scandal. Credit: Independent Newspapers

Pikitup appointed Ernst & Young to conduct an investigation into several companies providing services to it.

The probe recommended that Aqua should be charged criminally for fraud because of alleged irregular activities, including suspected tender collusion.

The inquiry also recommended that Aqua should be made to pay back money it had allegedly overcharged Pikitup.

Yesterday, Dr Nomonde Mabuya, the chairwoman of the Pikitup board, confirmed Maharaj been appointed acting MD of Pikitup after Nair’s suspension.

Maharaj is Pikitup’s financial director. Mabuya said Nair had been notified to attend a pre-disciplinary inquiry on Thursday next week.

Pikitup senior managers were called into a meeting where it was officially announced that Nair had been suspended.

They were also informed that Maharaj would now be acting in her position.

Nair was suspended for two months on full pay while the charges against her are the subject of the disciplinary inquiry instituted by Pikitup’s board.

Nair is not allowed into Pikitup’s offices unless she has the board’s permission.

She was charged, among other things, with unexplained advertising of the tender with a scope exceeding the available budget of R263 million; alleged irregularities surrounding the advertising of the R263m tender; and unexplained escalation of the costs regarding the tender from R42m in July 2012 to the current R399m. - The Star