Suspended PPRA CEO to face disciplinary hearing

Alleged criminal acts by Mamodupi Mohlala and others within the property watchdog to be reported to law enforcement.
Among the allegations is that Mohlala instructed the HR department to suspend the deduction of pension fund contributions for five new employees. Image: Shutterstock

Suspended Property Practitioner Regulatory Authority (PPRA) CEO Mamodupi Mohlala is to face a disciplinary hearing, while alleged criminal acts by her will be reported to law enforcement agencies.

Certain other PPRA employees who have also been implicated in alleged offences will also be charged.

This was confirmed by the PPRA board on Wednesday, following the finalisation of certain aspects of a forensic investigation conducted by Kettle Consulting.

Kettle Consulting was appointed by the PPRA board to investigate the allegations against Mohlala and other implicated employees.

The board said it also “notes with concern the attempts to distract and blackmail” PPRA chair Steven Ngubeni.

The authority’s company secretary Thapelo Kgari said the charge sheet will be served on Mohlala on Friday.

Read:

The allegations against Mohlala include:

  • Contravention of pension fund legislation by failing to make contributions to the pension fund; and
  • Irregular appointments of personnel, including flouting processes, making appointments to non-existing positions and appointing under-qualified persons.

The pension fund legislation contraventions follow a finding by the Pension Funds Adjudicator Tribunal in 2021 that Mohlala disregarded scheme rules when she allegedly instructed the PPRA’s human resources department to suspend the deduction of pension fund contributions for five new employees, while other employees who joined the PPRA on the same date and on the same terms were registered as members of the fund.

It is unclear why these PPRA employees were treated differently.

The tribunal ordered the PPRA to pay all arrear contributions plus late payment interest backdated to July 2019, resulting in fruitless and wasteful expenditure in excess of R1 million.

Further allegations, evidence 

The PPRA board added on Wednesday that the investigators were also furnished with further allegations and evidence during their investigation related to:

  • The flouting of procurement processes; and
  • Irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

PPRA staff members also reported serious acts of criminality, including intentional misrepresentation, fraud and corruption.

The PPRA board said the forensic investigation is still continuing.

Refusal to cooperate

“The board has received a report from the investigators decrying the refusal and reluctance to cooperate by the implicated personnel, including the CEO [Mohlala],” it said.

“However, the investigators have managed to finalise investigating some of the allegations brought to their attention.

“Based on the serious nature of the allegations and the corresponding findings, pointed out by the investigations thus far, the board has resolved to [refer] charges against the CEO and those implicated.

“The board will subject the CEO to a disciplinary inquiry and also report the alleged acts of criminality to the law enforcement agencies.”

The PPRA, previously named the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), regulates the affairs of estate agents and other aspects of the property industry.

MPs called out

Commenting further on the attempts to blackmail Ngubeni, the board said it is unfortunate that there are members of parliament who, without any convincing evidence at their disposal, have decided to take part in the attacks on the personal character of Ngubeni.

“We are also concerned that the attack on the credibility of the chairperson of the board is aimed at discrediting the entire board and the organisation. This, we suspect, is with the hope that the board will abandon the investigations into maladministration fraud and corruption,” it said.

“The board remains resolute and determined to finalise the investigations and decisively act on the findings.”

Whistleblower report

The allegations and charges Mohlala will face follow the board receiving a ‘whistleblowers’ report in December 2021 from the Public Service Commission, through Minister of Human Settlements Mmamoloko ‘Nkhensani’ Kubayi.

Mohlala was given an opportunity to provide her version and dispel the allegations in the report.

She accepted this opportunity and made a submission to the board.

However, the board decided to place her on precautionary suspension on full pay on 25 March 2022, pending a forensic investigation, due to the inadequacy of her responses to the allegations.

Court application

Mohlala responded by launching an application in the South Gauteng High Court to overturn her precautionary suspension.

The application, which questioned the legality of the process to appoint the PPRA board by the minister (Kubayi), was unsuccessful.

Kubayi welcomed the court’s dismissal, with costs, of the “frivolous application” brought by Mohlala.

Attempts to obtain comment from Kubayi on Wednesday about the latest developments regarding Mohlala were unsuccessful.

Attempts to obtain comment from Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa (Rebosa) CEO Jan le Roux were also unsuccessful.

AUTHOR PROFILE

COMMENTS   0

You must be signed in and an Insider Gold subscriber to comment.

SUBSCRIBE NOW SIGN IN

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR
BTC / USD

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Moneyweb newsletters

Instrument Details  

You do not have any portfolios, please create one here.
You do not have an alert portfolio, please create one here.
INSIDER SUBSCRIPTION APP VIDEOS RADIO / LISTEN LIVE SHOP OFFERS WEBINARS NEWSLETTERS TRENDING

Follow us:

Search Articles:
Click a Company: