Prasa’s bizarre CEO appointment

Image Credits: Ashraf Hendricks

Cromet Molepo, Prasa’s acting group CEO for just four months, started retirement on Sunday with leave worth more than R1.3-million and a controversial legacy.

By Molepo’s final day in service on Saturday, after reaching contractual retirement age of 63 on 20 March, he had accumulated 86 leave days. He had been the acting chief of the agency for only 73 working days.

According to leaked internal correspondence obtained by GroundUp, his salary as Prasa’s GCEO was R15,904 a day, making his leave payout R1,370,463 before tax.

Molepo had served as CEO of Prasa Corporate Real Estate Solutions before being appointed acting Group CEO on 13 December 2017 – a move that was met with widespread dissatisfaction among Prasa staff.

According to a senior Prasa source, Molepo was appointed despite this objection and staff had recommended that he be put on leave for 60 days rather than be promoted in order to reduce his liability to the company.

The Prasa source said he believed Molepo was appointed to facilitate questionable Prasa tenders, including a tender to Siyaya DB Consulting that resulted in a court ruling that Prasa pay a R58-million settlement to the company, which will be opposed by activist group UniteBehind in court on 5 April.

Complaints about Molepo’s contract come after reports by the Sunday Times that Molepo attempted to postpone retirement by changing his recorded date of birth to 19 September 1955, six months after the date of birth previously on record. According to the Times, Home Affairs officials confirmed that Molepo’s date of birth on file was 20 March 1955.

This was not the first time Molepo had attempted to change his date of birth. The Sunday Times reported that Marilyn Ndhlovu, a senior government administration officer, said Molepo had previously successfully changed his date of birth from 19 September 1951 to 20 March 1955.

If the original birth date was true, Molepo would already be three years past retirement age.

Lindikaya Zide, Prasa’s Group Corporate Secretary, has temporarily taken over as GCEO until 8 April when Prasa’s board is set to convene and appoint a new GCEO.

Prasa has declined to comment on Molepo’s appointment as GCEO. We were unable to reach Molepo.

This article was originally published on GroundUp.

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