Corruption claims: calls for union boss to account

Date: 08 Feb 2019

Fedusa general secretary accused of pocketing R1m when PIC bought shares in Ayo

THE Public Servants’ Association (PSA) has called for the Federation of Unions of South Africa’s general secretary Dennis George to face the music if the Public Investment Corporation-linked corruption accusations against him are true.FEDUSA general secretary Dennis George is facing charges that he pocketed almost R1 million after a share deal involving the Public Investment Corporation.

The PSA, which is Fedusa’s biggest affiliate, has described the allegations against George as serious and concerning.

This comes after allegations that George pocketed almost R1 million in the R4.3 billion purchase of shares by the PIC in Ayo Technology Solutions.

George, who has been placed on special leave since the allegations surfaced, has denied them.

PSA general manager Ivan Fredericks said George would have to explain himself as the allegations had the potential to damage the reputation of the federation if not addressed.

“As the PSA, we are very concerned about the allegations that are being levelled against Mr George, and our stance is clear against corruption and the looting of public funds.

“If the allegations against him are true, due process has to take place because we know that Fedusa has not received any money from the PIC. We will not allow anyone to abuse his position in order to get funds using the name of our federation.”

The PSA is the first Fedusa affiliate to speak out on the accusations, which have prompted calls from other federations for George to be scrutinised.
Fredericks said the union would await Fedusa’s internal probe, which is under way, before making a call on what should happen.

The allegations against George come as the commission of inquiry tasked with looking into the governance issues of the state-owned PIC – which is Africa’s largest asset manager – is under way.

Through his lawyers, George has written to the AmaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism which first made the allegations, accusing it of defaming his character by publishing untruths about him.

He denied that he owned shares in Ayo Technology Solutions or that he received R900000 from the company.

George threatened to take legal action against the publication if it did not retract the allegations against him

“We hereby demand an immediate retraction of the article by your office and that your office tenders a public apology of similar prominence on the same platform by close of business on Friday (today), failing which we have been instructed by our client to exhaust all available legal remedies,” his lawyers said.

In a statement, the SA Federation of Trade Unions described the allegations against George as particularly disturbing.

“If these allegations are true then George should be condemned for enriching himself from workers’ savings. Saftu urges members of Fedusa affiliates to call for his immediate resignation,” the federation said.

George said he would organise a tell-all conference next week where he said he would provide his side of the story regarding the allegations against him.

By Siviwe Feketha – siviwe.feketha@inl.co.za

 

 

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