Railroaded: 'CEO made me spy on staff'
Whistleblower makes damning new claims against RSR CEO
Embattled Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) chief executive officer (CEO) Nkululeko Poya allegedly spied on board members, ordering that their cars be fitted with tracking devices and that their movements be monitored.
Poya is currently on precautionary suspension after being charged for a string of alleged irregularities including irregular staff appointments.
Poya, who was suspended in December last year, now faces a new investigation.
The probe comes after one of his subordinates made damning claims against him in response to questions being asked of him – Poya’s subordinate – during the current investigation into Poya.Late last year Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi received a scathing report which alleged that Poya irregularly appointed a female friend and organised her accommodation and a salary two months before she began her job.
The new allegations facing Poya stem from a whistleblower who revealed how he had been engaging in clandestine activities on Poya’s behalf.
Attempts to get hold of Poya proved unsuccessful.
In an e-mail sent by Poya’s subordinate to a manager on September 6 2017, he details how he had been working under the instructions of Poya to spy on board members and find dirt against them.
The whistleblower was grilled after investigators discovered that his work vehicle’s logbook had entries marked: “Security duties”.
In a document seen by Times Select, the whistleblower revealed to the manager that he had acted on the instructions of Poya to conduct “intelligentsia work” on some of the board members and executives.
“The intelligentsia work that was done on RSR Board Member, who was based in KZN, Mr Norman Tinyiko Baloyi, will have serious repercussion to the employer once it is in the public space, as it was obtained unlawfully with the blessing of my principal (CEO). This was done using State Owned motor vehicle,” said the whistleblower.
A source close to the investigation said that these illegal investigations were allegedly aimed at allowing Poya to have control over some board members and the executives.The whistleblower goes on to allege that a tracking device was placed on the vehicle of former executive manager of corporate affairs Stompi Xulu while it was parked at the RSR premises on the day of her suspension.
“I had to follow her with other investigators to her home. I followed her as she went to ANC offices in her home province of Mpumalanga and to the legislator and briefed my principal on her daily movements, including politicians that she met,” part of the e-mail reads.
He goes on to say that on one occasion he followed her to a regional office of the Democratic Alliance to obtain anything that he could to incriminate her.
“This is another unlawful dirty acts [sic] including laying criminal charges against her in order to prevent her from laying any charges or wrong doing against my principal, were done using the said State Owned motor vehicle,” said the whistleblower in his responses.
He also detailed how he had driven to the Free State to “illegally” collect information about the general manager of communication, Noluvuyo Halana, who was said to be close to Xulu.
“I traveled there using the same State Owned motor vehicle to find something that the employer needed from her work personal file. It is common cause that the information that was obtained unlawfully deprived her from RSR employment … I would travel to meet Meraki Technologies to unlawfully extract information from RSR employees laptop … I have collected many a time the investigator at OR Tambo airport to come do work at RSR using the same state owned motor vehicle,” he said.A source said that transport authorities were worried about the allegations and would be engaging the board about them.
“These are very serious matters which must be dealt with internally. There will be an investigation into them, also to ascertain if they are being treated with the seriousness they deserve.”
RSR spokesperson Madelein Williams declined to comment, saying Poya was still being investigated by the regulator.
“Please note that the investigation has not been concluded. The Railway Safety Regulator will, therefore, not be able to respond to any enquiry that may jeopardise the investigation and the persons involved in the process.”
The initial investigation against Poya recommended that he should be held accountable for the 2015 appointment of former ANC MP Hagreves Magama, who allegedly does not have a matric, as a senior manager on an annual salary of nearly R1-million.