The Gauteng government’s finance department head Stuart Lumka has been fired for wasting R50m on an IT contract, it was announced on Tuesday.
“The province has also requested the state attorney to advise regarding whether to institute criminal and/or a civil case against Mr Lumka to recover monies misappropriated. The province is awaiting the outcome of the opinion from the state attorney,” the provincial government said in a statement.
An independent disciplinary inquiry found him guilty of gross financial misconduct and recommended he be fired. He was placed on special leave in May 2014 following an investigation by auditors Ernst & Young. Premier David Makhura told him about the decision on Thursday.
He was found guilty of paying Shimo Solutions R48,8m when the government had no contract with, or financial obligations to, the IT company. He then further acknowledged liability towards Shimo and Novell Ireland Software when he had no authority to do so.
He wasted another R2,1m when he signed the Shimo project charter. The company had not been contracted to provide services through a transparent, cost-effective tender process.
On a third charge, that he wasted another R1m which he paid Shimo as a cancellation fee, he was found not guilty.
“The evidence shows that Mr Lumka was derelict in an egregious manner in his conduct pertaining to the charges for which I found him guilty. He ignored not only legal advice but went against a prior collective decision that there be no further payment to Novell,” the inquiry’s chair was quoted as saying in the statement.
The chair rejected Mr Lumka’s representation that he had merely exercised “poor judgment”.
Mr Lumka, he said, was unrepentant about his conduct. — News24