Setumo Mohapi, the well-respected CEO of the State IT Agency (Sita), who engineered a major clean-up and turnaround at the troubled agency after taking the reins in 2015, has resigned.
TechCentral learnt on Friday that Mohapi formally tendered his resignation at a Sita board meeting this week. His last day at work was Friday. It’s understood he is stepping down for health reasons. He will serve his three-month notice period at home.
Mohapi, who joined Sita from state-owned broadcasting company Sentech — a move he made reluctantly, as he enjoyed the Sentech role — is credited with cleaning out endemic corruption at the agency, which provides IT services, including procurement, for the South African government. In doing so, he was subjected to death threats and came under immense duress.
Sita spokeswoman Anthea Summers confirmed on Friday evening that Mohapi has stepped down and that he will be replaced by Sita’s executive for strategic stakeholder management, Ntutule Tshenye, in an acting capacity while the board looks for a suitable replacement.
Mohapi and Sita parted ways on amicable terms, Summers said. The board had asked him to stay on for six months beyond the 31 March 2019 expiry of his four-year contract, but eventually agreed with his request to leave immediately because of the demanding nature of the role and the consequent impact on his health.
TechCentral reported in 2017 that Mohapi had received death threats after he initiated an organisation-wide crackdown on corruption. He vowed at the time that he would press on with his plans to clean up the government agency, with had been plagued by mismanagement.
Corruption was rife
Sita is responsible for about R2-billion/year in IT procurement spend on behalf of government departments. Mohapi dismissed employees for corruption and referred some cases to the police for investigation.
He said in a podcast interview with TechCentral in 2017 that he discovered that corruption was rife at Sita after he took the reins in April 2015.
Employees were running their own IT companies on the side, and in some cases even saw to it that these companies won lucrative supply deals awarded by the agency, he said.
“We’d find people who wrote business cases and later that business went to companies where there was an association, direct or indirect,” he said. “We have dealt with it quite heavily. There were a lot of people who were compromised one way or the other inside Sita.”
He vowed at the time to unearth corrupt employees, despite the threats against his life. “If you have been stealing, we will find you,” he said. “When we find you (and) we will then discipline you. And if you go through that process (and are found guilty), we will fire you.”
Spokeswoman Summers said Sita will not be allowed to regress following Mohapi’s departure and that the agency will build on the good work he has done turning the agency around. — © 2019 NewsCentral Media