File picture: Karen Sandison

Johannesburg - A corruption probe at the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) has come back to haunt Tumelo Kganane the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the City of Ekurhuleni - more than a year after he got his present job.

It has now come to light that prior to his appointment in May 2017, Kganane was cited for his part in irregularities, fraud and corruption in two reports compiled by Grant Thornton, which carried out investigations on behalf of the CoJ, where he was the head of Information Communication Technology. 

Kganane, who resigned after the investigation was launched, this week declined to comment on the matter and instead referred all queries on his appointment to his present employer - the City of Ekurhuleni. 

Asked if the Grant Thornton probe had any bearing on the CIO’s appointment, City of Ekurhuleni Spokesperson Themba Hadebe, responded: “Upon engagement with Mr Kganane, it was established that he was under no investigation during the recruitment process – from application to appointment stages.

“This means there would be nothing to disclose at the time of our recruitment process.

“Mr Kganane applied for the position in the year 2016, attended interviews in January 2017 and was given an offer on the 22 of March 2017.

“It is also important to note that Mr Kganane cooperated fully with the investigation and there is no finding against him known to the City of Ekurhuleni.”

However, Retired Major-General Shadrack Sibiya, head of CoJ on Wednesday said Kganane “resigned after the investigation had started”.

Sibiya added: “It’s also not true that the City of Ekurhuleni did not know. We gave them the report via the city manager, they knew about our investigations when they appointed him”.

The first investigation into Kganane’s alleged wrong-doing was related to the procurement of ICT infrastructure during the establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman. The second investigation was linked to procurements the CoJ made from Dimension Data.

Grant Thornton recommended that a criminal case should be registered against Kganane and others over suspicions of fraud and corruption.

This week the Independent Ratepayers Association of South Africa (IRASA) demanded the immediate suspension of Kganane. 

Alderman Isak Berg of IRASA said: “We have already set a precedent that if people lie about their past employment history they will be suspended. We suspended the CFO [Chief Financial Officer] because she didn’t disclose of investigations at the SABC same rules must be applied to all officials.”

Two weeks ago, the council of Ekurhuleni suspended Gugu Pride Malaza, the City’s group chief financial officer because she did not disclose information about her dismissal from the SABC over procurement and financial irregularities. 

Councillor Dino Petersen said: “As the Patriotic Alliance in the council we took the decision that the CFO  must be suspended for not disclosing what happened to her when she was at the SABC, we are going to take the same position with Tumelo [Kganane].”

African News Agency/ANA