The CEO of the State IT Agency (Sita) received death threats after he initiated an organisation-wide crackdown on corruption. But Setumo Mohapi has vowed he will press on with plans to clean up the government agency.
In a wide-ranging podcast interview with TechCentral on Tuesday, Mohapi — who joined Sita in 2015 from Sentech — said he is determined to fix the troubled agency, which is responsible for about R2bn/year in IT procurement spend on behalf of government departments. He has dismissed several employees and referred some cases to the Hawks for investigation.
Mohapi, who is credited with turning around the fortunes of Sentech, where he was also CEO, said he discovered that corruption was rife at Sita after he took the reins on 1 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.
“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 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, we will then discipline you. And if you go through that process (and are found guilty), we will fire you.”
If criminality is found, Sita will not hesitate to report employees to the relevant authorities for prosecution, he added. “We have taken a number of cases to the Hawks. We have companies that have been blacklisted. To the extent that we are required to inform the Assets Forfeiture Unit, we have done that.”
He warned that if he’s asked by parliament to answer questions about corruption at the agency, he will “not shy away from taking the files to parliament”. Those files “will contain people’s names and those names will be in the public domain. I don’t care.”
He said Sita is making progress in fixing the problem, and that the leadership team is working hard to root out corruption. He said intimidation won’t be successful. “It won’t stop us from cleaning up the organisation.”
He said, however, that he has stopped answering his phone on weekends from numbers he doesn’t recognise “because of what I have been subjected to”. — © 2017 NewsCentral Media
- Listen to the podcast with Mohapi, in which he talks more about the corruption crackdown and the threats against him. He also talks in detail about how he wants to transform Sita into more of a consultancy services business for government and how cloud computing could transform government IT