Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, has placed the department’s director-general, Advocate Sam Vukela, on a “precautionary suspension”. De Lille confirmed this in a statement on Wednesday. “I placed the Director-General of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), Advocate Sam Vukela on precautionary suspension - effective as of today Wednesday 29 July 2020 - pending the finalisation of the disciplinary processes instituted against the DG,” said de Lille.
She said this decision was taken after President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered her to start with the disciplinary process. “This action follows from a minute I received from President Cyril Ramaphosa on 17 March 2020 to inform me of his decision to delegate his powers to the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure to initiate disciplinary processes against the Director-General, Adv Sam Vukela,” de Lille’s statement added.
This follows findings of PriceWaterhouseCoopers forensic report commissioned by the Anti-Corruption Fraud Awareness Unit in the Department (“the ACU” or “the Unit”), after a request was made by the office of the Director-General to the Unit, to investigate allegations of irregularities related to the services rendered at state funerals.
In addition to this, there was also an investigation report by the Public Service Commission on irregular appointments within the Senior Management Service of the department. Minister de Lille said an internal disciplinary process would soon begin. “I sought legal advice and assistance to start the process as directed in the minute of the President. An internal disciplinary process that will be chaired by a senior advocate will be convened in due course,” said de Lille.