Senior USAASA official suspended for alleged corruption

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Pretoria - A long serving senior official of the Universal Services and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) has been suspended following allegations of corruption and maladministration.

According to a statement issued by the agency on Wednesday, the official, who is based at head office, is accused of using the personal information of board members to make personal travel arrangements and to make reservations at various hotels across the country.

The official is also believed to have used the information of a different government agency to book a vehicle. This act has resulted in the staffer being criminally charged, said the agency.

It said the official was believed to have passed confidential information of the agency to third parties and used agency electronic equipment to produce pornographic material.

The official also allegedly used the electronic signature of the Board Chairperson, Pumla Radebe, to solicit a loan to purchase a vehicle.

The allegations border on financial misconduct which is a very serious offence, said the agency, adding that this was why the official was put on precautionary suspension pending the outcomes of the investigation.

“We call upon all financial institutions to be vigilant when approached for funding by members of the public, especially those that claim to be working for USAASA,” said the agency.

Meanwhile, the agency said it is cooperating with the Public Protector in the investigation of one of the staff members accused of possibility of being a Namibian illegal immigrant and in possession of fake senior certificate from Namibia.

The official is also accused of being irregularly employed without proper procedures and qualification.

The official is reported to have been occupying senior positions within the agency for a number of years and was responsible for verifying qualifications of other staff members.

“Efforts for the official to provide her proof of her citizenship and qualifications have been in vain for a number of months,” it said. -

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