Sunday, October 25, 2020

DCEC probes NDB boss, management

The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime has written to the Chief Executive Officer of the National Development Bank, Lerato Morapedi, warning her of the investigations against the Bank and herself in her official capacity.

In the letter, Morapedi is being ordered to produce a certified copy of the NDB bank account statement and present it to the DCEC director.

“An investigation is being carried out into an offence alleged or suspected to have been committed under the Corruption and Economic Crime act, 1994,” states the letter from DCEC Director, Rose Seretse, to Morapedi.

The DCEC Director also warned Morapedi to comply with the notice of ongoing investigations, including providing all the necessary information and documents sought by the crime busting agency.
The letter, dated February, 2013 among other things requires documents governing procurement procedures at NDB.

Among the issues being investigated by DCEC is a P2.5 million loan application by the husband to the NDB Chief Executive Officer, Reuben Morapedi.

“Please provide the following documents… all the documents pertaining to the advertisement of NDB to Fox Television in America, all the documents concerning the engagement of Richard Molosiwa as a consultant for restructuring at NDB, all the documents concerning the outsourcing of loans to CEDA staff, the procedure for training, the documents concerning the nomination of Tsholofelo Chimela for Research Department Training…,” says the letter from DCEC.

Also being sniffed by DCEC is a catalogue of payments made by NDB to AON Insurance Company.
DCEC pounced on NDB following a string of tip-offs, including a written submission by staff to the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee.

In a letter to the Chairman of the Parliamentary Sub-Committee, NDB staff had, among other things, alleged misconduct on the part of the Bank’s management.

One of the issues raised surrounds awarding of the contract and subsequent payment of P250 000 advert that was shot and flighted with the American cable network, Fox Television, which staff insist has served no purpose other than to profile the Chief Executive Officer.

An allegation has also been made to parliamentary sub-committee that the amount paid for the advert had surpassed the threshold authority of the Chief Executive.

Another allegation made by staff is that some of the board members have overstayed their tenure at the parastatal, and have, as a result, either become too close to management to be able to provide a detached strategic oversight role or have simply lost interest beyond drawing their sitting allowances.

When contacted by Sunday Standard on what role NDB Chief Executive might have played in the approval of a loan application by a company associated with her husband, the bank replied that she had declared her interest. The bank also maintains that the Chief Executive did not nudge on her juniors to fast-track the loan approval.

“All officers having a material direct or indirect interest or association in an issue that arises for decision within the Bank, are obliged as a matter of policy to declare such interest in writing. In this particular instance, the CEO adhered to this policy and has duly declared her interest in this matter. Furthermore, CEO has accordingly also recused herself from any involvement in the processing of this loan,” said NDB Head of Communications, Harry Marks.

While the commercial wisdom of NDB’s involvement in the outsourced CEDA staff loan book has also reached the DCEC radar, Harry Marks is of the view that, like all decisions, it was reached taking into account “the general furtherance of the Bank’s corporate strategy”.

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