Corruption allegations have led to the suspension of Umgeni Water’s chief executive Cyril Gamede.
An investigation was opened last week to look into the allegations after an anonymous letter was circulated within the company, and to minister of water and sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane, public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the provincial police commissioner and other key stakeholders.
According to News24, the board of the state owned water management company served Gamede with a letter of precautionary suspension at an emergency board meeting last week Tuesday. The suspension was in order to ensure the investigation would be carried out without any hindrance.
Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder told News24 the letter alleged the “impropriety of a senior official of Umgeni Water” and related to corruption. “They are merely allegations,” he said.
He added that an independent agency was undertaking the investigation.
“The organisation wants to bring this to an end as quickly as possible,” Harichunder said. “The outcome of the investigation will inform the board of what steps, if any, that need to be taken.”
He added that the company has an “impeccable record for good corporate governance,” and said this was a “huge shock to the organisation”.
While the allegations could shed some negative light on the company, Harichunder said it would not affect the Umgeni Water’s operations. He added that the company remained committed to bringing quality water and the best service to its six municipalities and six million customers.