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THE NIGHT of the long knives is looming at the SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) following the completion of investigations into maladministration and corruption, which has raised more questions than answers, particularly on charges against its suspended acting CEO, Sobantu Tilayi.

Disciplinary action is being considered against Tilayi for mobilising a process to transfer funds from the Maritime Fund without informing the board, obtaining the resolution of the board and proceeding with the request to transfer funds from the Maritime Fund without full disclosure to the lawful Samsa board in office at the time of the request.

Maritime Authority suspended acting CEO, Sobantu Tilayi. File photo.

A second official, company secretary Lolo Raphadu, is on the ropes in the final report for allegedly proceeding with the request to transfer funds from the Maritime Fund without full disclosure to the lawful Samsa board in office at the time of the request, forgery/fraud, in that he used the signature of the former chairperson, Mavuso Msimang, without securing the required consent/permission.

In the initial report an audit and accountancy firm, Morar Incorporated, was commissioned to conduct an investigation into affairs prior to the suspension of Tilayi, Lesego Mashishi, the chief human capital officer and Raphadu.

In November, Samsa appointed Morar Incorporated to conduct an investigation into various allegations received from the Disabled People of South Africa.

Raphadu outlined numerous issues from the lack of clarity on his qualifications, interfering with the business of independent contractor South African Marine Fuels (Samf), facilitating payment for pals and improper appointment of executives among other things. "You abused your position of authority at Samsa by overstepping your duties and responsibilities from 2016 whilst acting as Samsa’s chief executive officer by interfering with the BEE (black economic empowerment) ownership structure of Samf, potential contractual arrangements between (Thamsanqa) Gcaba and Samf and interventions between Samf, Gcaba and other entities,“ the sheet from Samsa board chairperson Nthato Minyuku states.

The charge also alleges that Tilayi abused his position of authority at Samsa in his capacity while acting as CEO by divulging Samsa’s Vision in a conversation with Gcaba, who was only one player in the industry, thus, giving him an unfair competitive advantage over other players in the industry.

Meanwhile, the report now conceded haste in the assumptions of executive corporate officer Vusi September’s overseas maritime qualifications, which had been questioned. The report now found the qualifications were verified for their veracity/authenticity, but not rated by the South African Qualifications Authority. “In other words, there is no verified evidence to show that the qualification obtained by September is indeed on the required level,” the report said, all though it conceded on the authenticity of the institutions.

However, September said yesterday that he had no access to the report as yet, but would be approaching the organisation to enquire on the processes. September said the institution where he obtained his qualification was recognised by the state and Samsa, hence he wondered how a qualification obtained there after a government sponsorship would then be questionable.

He said the inclusion of Tilayi as a reference in his CV was natural because as his immediate line manager he was a logical choice to inform on his competencies.

“I am still going to access the report and hopefully engage with my superiors here to establish where to go from here,” September said.



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