- The South African High Court's Pretoria High Court, which covers Gauteng, has ruled in favour of the directors of the State IT Agency (SITA) who were fired or removed on July 18, 2023, or July 21, 2023, by Mondli Gungubele, the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies.
- The court order following the ruling has reinstated the directors and suspended the minister's decision to appoint the interim board of directors.
SITA is an entity of the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies and the government's IT procurement arm. It has been facing several challenges in its years of operation.
Some of the challenges include the inability to fill some critical C-suite positions, such as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), and Chief Operations Officer (COO).
Other challenges include accusations of corruption and mismanagement, exhausting procurement processes, leadership instability, and poor service delivery quality.
Gungubele suspended some SITA board members in July 2023 over a salary increase for the previous Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bongani Mabaso.
In just eight months, Mabaso's five-year fixed-term contract came to an end. Appointed in December 2022, he began work in April 2023 and departed in December 2023.
The board increased the annual salary from R3.5 million ($184,570) to R4.5 million ($237,305). The increment is said to be outside the company's salary range.
Gungubele said, “The board of SITA failed to comply with the MOI [memorandum of incorporation], which is a serious dereliction of duties and governance transgression.”
Following the termination of the appointment of the directors by the Minister, Makano Mosidi, the Board Chair, and some other board members decided to challenge the decision in court.
Tsholofelo Bodlani, a member of the National Assembly, commented on the new development, saying, "The Minister's meddling with the board's functionality has brought us here. The board, although it must account to the executive authority, must have its independence guarded. Bodlani added that “the DA is watching with keen interest.”
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