Treasury bids farewell to chief procurement officer Kenneth Brown
Treasury’s chief procurement officer, Kenneth Brown, has resigned.
After much speculation, treasury announced today that Brown had expressed his intention to leave the government’s finance office in June to pursue a lucrative career opportunity in the private sector.
“He was, however, persuaded to stay to solidify the processes and initiatives he led to establish the Office of the Chief Procurement Office following his appointment by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in 2013,” reads the press statement.
His last day will be at the end of December, which will also mark the end of his 19-year tenure at treasury and “34 years as a public servant”.
But he leaves under a cloud, with the Hawks still investigating allegations around the payment of two properties.
In October the Mail and Guardian reported about a dossier that, among other things, showed that several payments had been made into Brown’s home loan account for a property in the exclusive Pebble Rock Golf Village in Pretoria.
The banking records that M&G has seen covered a period between 2012 and 2015, during which large and smaller payments were made into the account. They include a teller transfer of R206 567 in June 2013.
In July of the same year, R200 000 was deposited and then R60 000, followed by R23 000. In March 2014, two amounts of R50 000 were credited. In total, for the period reflected in the statements, R1-million was credited.
At the time, Brown agreed that the documents were his and that the house in question existed, but he would not say why such large deposits were made.
“I can see the excitement because there are these bank records, the ones you have shown me. They are mine. It would be interesting to know what you are doing with them,” he had said.
He would not comment about the large amounts saying that the matter was under investigation by the Hawks.
Hangwani Mulaudzi, the spokesperson for the Hawks, said they were not aware of the resignation. “However that does not change the status quo; the inquiry is still ongoing,” he added.
Speaking of his departure, Gordhan said Brown had always been a “model civil servant who is not motivated by pay alone and, in spite of lucrative offers from the private sector, he agreed to delay his departure until some of the reforms he had started had reached a certain level of maturity.”
The minister’s statement included how Brown’s dedication and commitment were unwavered “even in the midst of allegations by Mr Mzwanele Manyi, which to date have not been substantiated.”