Eastern Cape IT boss suspended for second time
Chief information officer accused of contravening local government security policy
Falsely stating that a multimillion-rand disaster-management recovery system was tested and installing software that was not approved are among the allegations that led to the suspension of a senior Eastern Cape government IT manager. Chief information officer Ayanda Madyibi is accused of fraud and being dishonest.
In a notice of intention to suspend, provincial director-general Marion Mbina-Mthembu told Madyibi that allegations of misconduct, including that he had contravened the Office of the Premier’s (OTP) security policy, were being investigated.
Times Select has seen the relevant documentation.
Madyibi confirmed that he had received the suspension letter, but was dealing with the matter through his lawyers. “I am preparing a response through my legal team. I will respond with my own understanding of what happened.”
Some of the charges against Madyibi included that: He contravened the Office of the Premier’s computer security policy by installing software (Fedora) on his laptop that was not approved. He should have installed Microsoft Windows. Fedora is a computer server that enables system administrators to make use of the latest available technology;
On July 8 2017 he allegedly falsely requested a deviation from supply chain management processes, in order to procure the DriveLock Encryption Software; He gave false evidence to the KPMG and iFirm investigators who were conducting investigations in the department relating to the existence of Business Case, which was created and modified on March 16 2017. Business Case is an IT infrastructure plan where if a the project fails there is be a strategy for recovery;
In the report he submitted to Mbina-Mthembu in February 2016, he indicated that the test of the Provincial Disaster Recovery solution (DR), worth R6.6m and based at the East London Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), was successfully performed. This is a back-up plan for government software. He allegedly said it was physically verified by the auditor-general and that a clean audit was issued on its functionality, which was allegedly not true.
Mbina-Mthembu said the allegations against Madyibi were serious. “Due to ... the nature of your work the employer intends to suspend you pending the outcome of the investigation and the subsequent disciplinary inquiry, in the event it is so directed,” she said.
On October 10, Madyibi was finally suspended “with immediate effect” and asked to hand over all the OTP equipment he had with him, including laptops. It is not clear when his disciplinary hearing will begin.
Madyibi was suspended by the department for three months in 2015, but never charged, he said. He was allowed to return to work.
In a letter to his superiors, which Times Select has seen, he described the process followed by his line manager at the time as “flawed” in many respects.
“This is a request for your urgent intervention on the above matter. My suspension was not in accordance with the Public Service Commission guidelines on the Management of Suspensions,” he wrote at the time.
On Monday, provincial spokeswoman Mandisa Titi would not be drawn on the matter. “As the OTP we are always guided by Chapter 7 of the SMS Handbook, which regulates how relations between employer and employee will be managed.
“We are obliged by this and other related prescripts to keep matters pertaining to an employee and their employment environment within the confines of the organisation. We are therefore not going to be dealing with a matter of this nature through the media,” said Titi.
She said that if Madyibi was aggrieved by any aspect of his suspension, he had the right to lodge a formal grievance. Asked how much money was involved in pursuing Madyibi’s cases, Titi refused to comment.
“Regarding the amount of lead time an employee is accorded during this process, the accounting officer reserves the right to exercise their discretion, depending on the circumstances peculiar to each situation,” she said.
National Education Health and Allied Workers Union department branch leader Loyiso Sobili has questioned the timing of these suspensions.
“This is the second time that Madyibi has been suspended on the same issues ... What happened to the first suspension and the outcomes of the investigation that was instituted by the department then?”