MPA investigators found that senior department managers Gordon Horn and Jane Mulaudzi colluded with Syntell to fraudulently award it a R132 million tender. MPA’s report reveals that early in 2014, Syntell submitted an unsolicited bid to supply and maintain the department’s electronic traffic surveillance and contravention management systems. In June 2014, Horn and Mulaudzi travelled to the company’s headquarters in Pietermaritzburg for a presentation. Later that year, the department requested proposals for the supply and maintenance of traffic surveillance and contravention management, for which Syntell bid. MPA’s dossiers show the tender specifications were identical to those which Horn, who chaired the bid specification committee, received from Syntell. The report found: “When it was time to initiate a tender... Horn used Syntell’s proposal that had been emailed to Mulaudzi, word for word. It is obvious that Horn and Mulaudzi had tailored the specification to suit Syntell.” Mokaba-Phukwana then cancelled the tender. Horn refused to respond to detailed questions, saying only “it seems to me that some people are trying to tarnish our names.” Horn, who was charged and suspended, has since returned to work. Karen Davies, Syntell’s group legal adviser, said: “Our unsolicited bid was not accepted and the department went out to tender. We therefore submitted a proposal, as we could offer the required services. The department drafted the tender specifications; presumably they used the specifications set out in the unsolicited proposal because they wished to procure these services. The department knew we had submitted an unsolicited bid.” The Pietermaritzburg visit was requested and paid for by the department, she said, adding that the department didn’t inform them why the tender was withdrawn.
In 2010, the department contracted Total Client Services, co-owned by company Mvelaphanda, to manage its traffic management system. The three-year contract was supposed to cost R6 million, but documents show that by the time the company left at the end of 2015, it had been paid well over R34 million, with little work to show for it.
“The worst is that the department had been authorising payment to TCS without proof of services rendered. TCS’s invoices only indicated the total number of transactions done, without a breakdown of services,” MPA’s report found.
“It is inexplicable how the department spent more than R30 million on a three-year contract of R6 million, without proof of services being rendered.”
MPA investigators recommended that Du Plessis be