Govt IT systems outage: Sita not ruling out sabotage

Sita CEO Dr Setumo Mohapi has apologised to South Africans for the inconvenience they suffered when Home Affairs was effectively paralysed for most of the day.

FILE: Picture: @HomeAffairsZA/Facebook.com.

CAPE TOWN - The State Information Technology Agency (Sita) is not ruling out the possibility of sabotage when a power outage led to not only Home Affairs but most government IT systems shutting down on Friday.

Sita CEO Dr Setumo Mohapi has apologised to South Africans for the inconvenience they suffered when Home Affairs was effectively paralysed for most of the day.

Briefing a joint meeting of Parliament’s Home Affairs and Telecommunications and Postal Services Committees on Tuesday, Mohapi described what he called a “catastrophic event”.

Mohapi’s also revealed another power outage on Monday led to Home Affairs systems being down again for about 90 minutes.

Mohapi says a full investigation is underway into the events that unfolded on Friday, and he’s told Eyewitness News that the possibility of sabotage cannot be excluded.

“You can’t rule anything out, number one. There’s a lot of angst in the organisation because of the changes we are making and we’re making them with probably a lot of energy.”

Sita executives have received threats in the three years since its turnaround plan got underway, involving multiple investigations and a spate of resignations and dismissals.

“Quite a lot of people are not happy, some of them have left. Some of them are inside, that’s one side of it, I think.”

Mohapi says the failure of internal Sita processes meant he was only alerted well after the systems had gone down.

He’s pledged to hold those responsible to account.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)