Finweek English Edition - - Letters -

PEO­PLE gen­er­ally feel sorry for those who have been un­fairly ac­cused of com­mit­ting all kinds of ne­far­i­ous deeds and then have dif­fi­culty prov­ing their in­no­cence.

The op­po­site is of course also true: if there’s smoke, there’s fire, de­spite all at­tempts at hid­ing it.

The al­most cur­sory an­nounce­ment by Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela that she found no ev­i­dence of po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence or favouritism in the award­ing of ten­ders to SGL En­gi­neer­ing, a com­pany with strong Malema-ties, but strik­ingly few en­gi­neer­ing skills, is sim­ply not good enough.

The re­port stated that the work was “gen­er­ally of an ac­cept­able qual­ity and stan­dard” (even though a num­ber of roads and bridges have al­ready washed away) and that, be­cause of poor record-keep­ing by sev­eral mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in six cases, it can­not be de­ter­mined whether the nec­es­sary ten­der pro­ce­dures had been fol­lowed. Case closed.

Per­haps the time has come for the pub­lic to be pro­tected against the Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor.

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