Beach boss sacked after metro hearing

                                                 Fernando Cain File picture: Brian Witbooi

Internal process finds Cain guilty of fraud over family links with municipal contracts

Former Nelson Mandela Bay beach manager Fernando Cain has been fired by the municipality after an internal hearing found him guilty of fraud.

Three weeks ago, Cain was also found to have allegedly failed to declare that members of his family owned a company that was doing business with the city.

A criminal investigation into alleged fraud and the flouting of finance regulations against Cain was reopened earlier this month as new evidence emerged.

This was despite the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) initially declining to prosecute Cain.

City manager Johann Mettler confirmed yesterday that Cain had been notified about his axing on Thursday last week.

Asked who would replace Cain, Mettler said: “Normal recruitment procedures [are] to follow in relation to filling of vacancies.”

Cain’s lawyer, Carolyn Ah Shene-Verdoorn, said they were waiting for the transcripts of the internal disciplinary case.

“We cannot comment on the next step at this stage.

“We are currently awaiting transcripts of the proceedings to look at the merits and determine a way forward.

“We are on standby to act on our client’s behalf once the transcripts are handed over to us.”

The probe into Cain was triggered after several near drownings across the Bay during the December 2015 holidays.

While searching through his computer for a report on how lifeguards were deployed, investigators stumbled upon quotations and invoices totalling almost R200000 linked to municipal contracts.

According to municipal documents, Cain is believed to have created the quotations and invoices to the metro for the purpose of generating payments to various companies involved.

In the findings of his hearing, Cain was found guilty of breaching internal policy and he was accused of white-collar crime.

During the investigation, documents also surfaced of NMMU’s north campus requesting lifesavers through Cain during an event, which Cain provided but for which the company Mattcole invoiced the university.

“In such cases, Mattcole CC was used to provide such services,” an internal municipal report states.

The handing out of pamphlets involving the Soul Good Events company also emerged during the probe. The documents state the pamphlets were in aid of the water safety community outreach programme and that Cain allegedly told his lifesavers to distribute them and scratch out the name of his relative, Aston Cain.

At the time, Aston was a project manager for Soul Good Events and also performing liaison for the Hobie Beach Lifesaving Club.

The documents state Cain argued that the municipality had been aware of his ties to Mattcole CC since 2014, but had failed to discipline him.

The papers state Cain claimed he had been unable to access the declaration of interests form.

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