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Johannesburg - Pikitup boss Amanda Nair is accused of appointing her acquaintances as consultants and spending about R1 million on their salaries every month.
The Star has learnt that the board has requested Nair, who controversially awarded a tender to a company fingered for fraud, to submit a report with a list of all the consultants and how much was spent on them every month.
“We are still waiting for the list. She must explain to us why we are paying these consultants,” said an official.
Other people have also been asking questions about the consultants doing work for Pikitup.
In May, one of the officials from the Joburg council wrote in an email asking about the consultants: “What kind of contract services do Doris and René Kenosi provide for Pikitup?”
In March, Nair awarded a tender worth R263m to Aqua Plant Transport after they were implicated in an Ernst & Young investigation and the bid adjudication committee had questioned her decision.
Pikitup board members have now decided to conduct investigations into the awarding of the tender and urged those who might have information to come forward.
Nair is reportedly asking them to do what permanent employees are already doing, and Pikitup employees say this is an expensive duplication exercise.
Sources claim Nair is using some of the consultants as her spies and also intercepts emails in a bid to find out who has been leaking documents to the media.
Nair has brought in about 15 consultants - and most of them worked with her at Blue IQ.
One of the consultants, Doris Dondur, a former non-executive director at Blue IQ between 2010 and 2011, when Nair was the entity’s chief executive, submitted two invoices and was paid R107 767 and R168 872 in January.
Dondur vehemently denied she was brought into Pikitup because she is Nair’s friend.
“Amanda brought me to Pikitup because I’m an expert, not because we are friends. No one has the knowledge that I have at Pikitup,” Dondur said.
But a source within Pikitup said the utility already had its own internal audit staff.
“How can she say she is the best when she was handpicked? I don’t think so,” said a Pikitup official.
Several Pikitup officials claimed Nair had tasked Dondur with clearing Aqua of any wrong-doing.
“How can an independent chartered accountant clear a company that was implicated in a forensic investigation conducted by a reputable audit firm (such as Ernst & Young?) They can only be cleared by another audit firm, not an individual.”
Dondur would neither deny nor confirm she had tried to clear Aqua, saying she was not authorised to talk about the issue.
When The Star asked Pikitup’s spokeswoman, Desiree Ntshingila, why Dondur had been paid twice in one month, she said: “No double payment was made; the consultant in question submitted two invoices for work done in previous months.”
Dondur said Pikitup had forgotten to pay her for the services rendered in December. On average, Dondur earns between R80 000 and R100 000 a month.
Nair has also appointed René Kenosi, a former consultant from Blue IQ, as acting chief audit executive. Kenosi earns R81 000 a month.
Joanne Murphy is also one of the former colleagues who are doing work for Pikitup, and is earning close to R70 000 a month.
Erika Naudé, former group executive: strategy and programmes at Blue IQ, has been offered a permanent position.
Efforts to get hold of Kenosi, Murphy and Naudé proved fruitless.
Ntshingila denied that some of the consultants had been brought in by Nair.