Industrial Court judge, Galesite Baruti has heard a case in which the dreaded Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) was used to fire some Team Leaders at Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA).
Giving evidence before Baruti, dismissed employee, Victor Chivasera testified that his dismissal was unfair and is seeking reinstatement.
He testified that he vetted the loan application for one Modiro Moalosi for the construction of a lodge in Palapye.
After receiving the application, he allocated it to Malebogo Moseki who was the Portfolio Executive. He testified that the loan application underwent vigorous assessment by credit up to the level of the Management Investment Committee (MIC), which comprises, amongst others, Regional Managers, Legal Manager and CEDA CEO, which committee approved the loan.
He submitted that the loan was approved according to the credit policy of CEDA and that neither the Branch Manager, Regional Manager, Credit nor MIC did question the loan and about P900,000 was disbursed.
He further stated that he visited the site at least once to monitor the project.
He testified that before the loan was approved, he advised his colleague, one Kabelo Moalosi to declare conflict of interest because the promoter, Moalosi was his biological mother. The said Kabelo Moalosi filled out a declaration of interest form, which was shared with the legal manager. He testified that when the project was about to start, his laptop was seized by DIS and he was suspended from duty on allegations of irregularities with the said loan.
He admitted that he used to fellowship with Kabelo at church in Palapye, but denied that the loan was approved because of their church connection since it underwent rigorous assessment up to the level of MIC.
He denied benefitting from the said loan either directly or indirectly. When giving evidence for CEDA, an officer at CEDA, Tlamelo Moeletsi who is the head of audit testified that he received a memo from the CEO, Thabo Thamane to cause of some investigations at Palapye Branch.
Moeletsi testified that acting on that memo he then interviewed Kabelo, Chivasera and other CEDA employees.
He then prepared a report, which he tendered into evidence. On cross-examination by the applicant’s lawyer, Onalethata Kambai, Moeletsi stated that his report did not take into consideration Kabelo had in fact submitted a declaration of conflict of interest.
When pressed why he did not include the declaration in his report, he testified that he became aware of the declaration form after he had already submitted his report to the CEO, which report formed the basis of the disciplinary charges against the applicant and led to his dismissal from CEDA.
Kambai questioned Moeletsi as to why he did not recall his report or prepare an additional report in light of the existence of the declaration of conflict of interest, and Moeletsi testified that there was nothing preventing him from amending his report, but left the report as was.
He further admitted that there was more than one report in the file and that there was no form where the employee had to fill in to validate interview with the promoter.
Chivasera is seeking compensation and reinstatement to his position as Team Leader.
Onkagetse Pusoentsi represents CEDA.
The case continues on June 12, 2018. The agency has lately been in the news with revelations of unpaid loans by certain politicians and Cabinet ministers.