EXCLUSIVE: SIU boss accused of corruption and favoritism


Ayanda Mdluli

JOHANNESBURG- The Special Investigating Unit (SIU), under Advocate Jan Mothibi is continuously under fire as more accusations of corruption and improper conduct were levelled against the institution by senior ranking employees, questioning the relationship between the organisation and some representatives within the National Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) operating in the agency.

In a damning affidavit leaked to Africa News 24-7, senior employees within the SIU contend that Mothibi’s running of the organisation has left it in tatters where employees entrusted to investigate cases of corruption and maladministration are leaking institutional information for financial gain.

Arica News 24-7 can reveal that an employee is alleged to have sold information to a suspect for financial gain and continued to enjoy the protection of Mothibi until she left the SIU without being disciplined.

One of the investigators, who is a former employee and whose name is known to Africa News 24-7 was allegedly paid a R250 000 bribe to leak information on an investigation that the individual was tasked to handle on behalf of the SIU.

In addition, Mothibi is accused of irregularly appointing Jerry Lefu as a shop steward in the organisation, while bestowing certain privileges that are deemed as corrupt by certain senior members within the organisation.

According to the affidavit: “There is a corrupt relationship between Adv Mothibi and NEHAWU as represented by Lefu, a very, very junior employee. It is indisputable that these two are each other’s aide to achieve what each party wants. A case in point is that the Special Investigating Unit has union shop stewards in every office to look after their member’s wellbeing. However, Mothibi decided to appoint Mr. Lefu as a full-time shop steward for an organisation that only has a total of 500 employees.”

Furthermore, senior sources within the SIU contend that various financial benefits have been awarded to Lefu over and above getting his full salary.

“Mr. Lefu gets flown across the country and taken along to meet premiers of provinces and receives other benefits only known to Adv Mothibi. Mr. Lefu was even flown to Hong Kong for an anti-corruption seminar and yet he is no longer doing SIU work. He also flies or drives to other offices for some flimsy excuses and is accommodated at hotels and gets paid subsistence allowances for being away from home due to union work.”

Over and above the financial benefits, sources allege that Lefu gets to direct SIU activities, for example, in a March 2018 Exco meeting, it was decided that any performance bonuses would be paid out in August 2018. However, Lefu was not happy with the Exco decision and he met with Adv Mothibi and convinced him to change payment date to Mid July 2018.

“A communication has been sent to the entire organisation that bonuses will be paid out on the 16 of July 2018. In returning the favour for some of the special treatments he gets from Adv Mothibi, Lefu became a tool for implementation of certain decisions that Mothibi wants implemented and then he turns around and says it was an agreement with the Union. The reality is that Mr. Lefu gets what he wants through Adv Mothibi, and Adv Mothibi uses Nehawu as a tool for protection,” said the source.

SIU responds

In a response to questions, the SIU said it was not aware of any allegations of corruption by its employees.

“We are not aware of these allegations. If you are aware of these allegations, please send them to the SIU so that they can be investigated. Should there be evidence to prove these allegations, the SIU will act on anyone who is implicated,” said the organisation.

The organisation also denied that Mothibi was providing preferential treatment to certain employees.

“This statement is incorrect and rejected with the contempt it deserves. The SIU confirms that Mr. Jerry Lefu is SIU’s employee. The nature of the relationship between Mr. Jerry Lefu and Adv Mothibi is that of an employee representative and that of employer representative. All expenses incurred on flights hotels, flights and cars are for business purposes and are approved in line with relevant SIU policies; procedures and substantive agreements,” said the SIU in response to questions.