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MICT SETA quietly fires CEO

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Oupa Mopaki has been fired from MICT SETA.
Oupa Mopaki has been fired from MICT SETA.

Oupa Mopaki has been fired as CEO of the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA) following corruption claims involving him.

City Press reports Mopaki was given the boot "for allegedly helping his nephew score lucrative contracts and having his alleged girlfriend appointed and promoted without following processes".

The CEO allegedly failed to declare his interest in companies that made millions from MICT SETA, it goes on to say.

MICT SETA is a government skills development entity that partners with industry, universities and technical and vocational training institutions, with a mission to generate, facilitate and accelerate quality skills development at all levels in the MICT sector in South Africa.

News of Mopaki's exit follows his and three top managers' precautionary suspension in March. Naledi Sibandze, senior manager for corporate services; Jabu Sibeko, senior manager of learning programmes; and Ernest Nemugavhini, manager of learning programmes, were among those suspended.

At the time, the MICT SETA board said it had taken the decision to suspend the CEO and managers pending an investigation into the allegations received from the auditor-general and public protector's office.

Furthermore, the board appointed Charlton Philiso as acting CEO to take over the running operations of the SETA with immediate effect.

While the board indicated the suspension was not a presumption of guilt on any individual, allegations of corruption concerning Mopaki have been his undoing.

Last year, Parliament's portfolio committee on higher education and training, which exercises oversight of the government entity, said allegations of corruption running into millions at the MICT SETA involving Mopaki needed to be thoroughly investigated.

Mopaki was alleged to have been involved in corrupt and fraudulent activities that saw the entity lose millions to companies in which he had personal interest, which benefited from tenders.

In a statement last year, chairperson of the portfolio committee, Connie September, said it would be unfortunate if the alleged corruption occurred as funding at SETA is mainly intended for poor learners, who are struggling to gain work experience.

"This is a worrying situation, especially that the person who is involved is the person who should be leading the institution with integrity and making it realise the broader objectives it was founded for. Our country is faced with massive challenges of young people, who are struggling to gain work experience.

"These accusations are ridiculing to the work of the department and generally government."

There is no news on the rest of the managers, although City Press reports Sibandze left the organisation after cutting a deal.

MICT SETA had not responded to ITWeb's calls for comment by the time of publication.

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