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project, de­spite not hav­ing a vari­a­tion or­der. “Ma­ganedisa told me that gov­ern­ment would pay me as soon as I was done with the project. He said gov­ern­ment would not let me down,” she said. Shezi said she then con­tin­ued work­ing and man­aged to fin­ish the en­tire project, in­clud­ing the ad­di­tional toi­lets and walk­way, by Jan­uary 2007. But in­stead of be­ing paid, she was left with mount­ing debts to sev­eral sup­plier com­pa­nies. Ma­ganedisa de­nied any knowl­edge of mak­ing such an un­der­tak­ing on be­half of the depart­ment, adding that he did not even re­mem­ber Shezi. “The com­plainant is not telling the truth ... I didn’t give her ver­bal in­struc­tions to do ad­di­tional work, nor was I per­mit­ted to give or ap­prove vari­a­tions of work. I re­signed from the depart­ment in Au­gust 2006 and I don’t re­mem­ber the com­plainant,” he said. City Press saw the class­rooms and the toi­let fa­cil­i­ties that Shezi built, which are still in good con­di­tion and are be­ing used daily by pupils. Shezi said after months of fail­ing to set­tle her bills, and with the provin­cial gov­ern­ment not in­ter­ested in talk­ing to her about its out­stand­ing bal­ance, she was taken to court by SA Tim­ber in 2008, after which she lost her busi­ness and as­sets, in­clud­ing a bakkie. In 2012, she was evicted from her house in Panorama in Beth­le­hem by Cooper Trust over un­paid debts to SA Tim­ber.

Two years later, her hus­band died, which forced her to move in with her son in Bohlokong town­ship.

“I have noth­ing. See­ing my house [auc­tioned off] just brought me sor­row and grief. All I do now is cry and won­der why this hap­pened to me,” she said.

After re­ceiv­ing Shezi’s doc­u­ments, Bandile Ntombela, the se­nior man­ager of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy at the Free State depart­ment of pub­lic works and in­fra­struc­ture, told City Press that the depart­ment had be­gun scru­ti­n­is­ing Shezi’s pa­per­work and that a thor­ough ap­praisal would be car­ried out.

“We now have all the project doc­u­men­ta­tion. We are perus­ing th­ese for an­swers,” Ntombela said. “Most of the role play­ers men­tioned by Shezi have left our depart­ment, so we can­not an­swer on their be­half. The mat­ter is be­ing as­sessed. Please bear with us,” he said.

Oupa Se­galwe, spokesper­son for Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane, told City Press that, al­though the of­fice was not aware of the case, the mat­ter war­ranted a probe, which would be in­sti­tuted.

“I have for­warded the mat­ter to our in­take di­vi­sion and brought it to the at­ten­tion of the Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor. We will take it from here,” he said.

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