Of­fi­cials may face cor­rup­tion charges

Probe re­veals ten­der anom­alies

Sunday World - - Sunday Report - By Boi­tumelo Kgob­otlo kgob­ot­lob@sun­day­world.co.za

Four of­fi­cials from the de­part­ment of jus­tice and cor­rec­tional ser­vices are fac­ing pos­si­ble crim­i­nal charges for al­leged cor­rup­tion and ir­reg­u­lar award­ing of ten­ders.

The EFF opened a case against them at the Hill­brow po­lice sta­tion last month af­ter the de­part­ment’s foren­sic unit un­cov­ered ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the award­ing of three ten­ders.

The of­fi­cials, known to Sun­day World, can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons.

The EFF also wrote to pub­lic pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane and asked her to in­ves­ti­gate th­ese of­fi­cials.

Gaut­eng Hawks spokesper­son Ndi­vhuwo Mu­lamu con­firmed that a case of cor­rup­tion was opened and was re­cently trans­ferred to them for in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“We will be in­ves­ti­gat­ing a cor­rup­tion-re­lated mat­ter and no sus­pect has been ar­rested at this stage,” she said.

Mkhwe­bane’s spokesper­son Oupa Se­gal­wane con­firmed that they had re­ceived a re­quest from the EFF to in­ves­ti­gate the al­le­ga­tions.

“I can only con­firm that we did re­ceive the com­plaint to­wards the end of Au­gust. We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing but the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is still in its very early stages,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit de­posed by EFF sec­re­tary­gen­eral Go­drich Gardee at the po­lice sta­tion, the of­fi­cials al­legedly first in­ter­fered with the ap­point­ment of the com­pany to sup­ply the Polok­wane High Court with fur­ni­ture.

“The de­part­ment of jus­tice and cor­rec­tional ser­vices has ir­reg­u­larly awarded aR10-mil- lion ten­der to Style Craft Of­fice De­sign, a Dur­ban-owned com­pany, to sup­ply of­fice fur­ni­ture to Polok­wane High Court af­ter an un­due in­flu­ence by (name with­held).

“Ac­cord­ing to the de­part- ment’s foren­sic unit re­port, Style Craft Of­fice De­sign was not sup­posed to be awarded the con­tract to sup­ply of­fice fur­nisher be­cause, amongst other things, the com­pany was in the process of dereg­is­ter­ing,” reads the af­fi­davit.

He said the sec­ond mat­ter re­lated toa cash-in-tran­sit ten­der that was awarded to Fidelity Se­cu­rity Ser­vices last month.

The EFFMP al­leged that the ten­der was ad­ver­tised and later with­drawn to al­legedly al­low time for Fidelity to re­new its Pri­vate Se­cu­rity In­dus­try Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity cer­tifi­cate.

Gardee also said the de­part­ment awarded a ten­der to Con­tainer Con­ver­sion to “sup- ply, de­liver and in­stall pre­fab­ri­cated mo­bile units to var­i­ous of­fices na­tion­ally from Fe­bru­ary 27 2014 to Fe­bru­ary 26 2017 with­out ad­ver­tis­ing the ten­der”.

Com­pany MD Guy Mur­ray disputed the claims that the ten­der was not ad­ver­tised.

“The ten­der was ad­ver­tised on Trade world. This is a ten­der alert ser­vice we sub­scribe to. Fur­ther­more, we can con­firm that the ten­der brief­ing was well-at­tended,” he said.

Style Craft di­rec­tor Yashni Naidoo said: “I have no com­ment for you, this is on­go­ing and I have no com­ment.”

Fidelity Se­cu­rity Group’s Stegmann Fourie couldn’t re­spond to our ques­tions at the time of go­ing to press.

Min­istry spokesper­son Stephans Mahlangu con­firmed that they were aware of the cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions in the de­part­ment.

“An in­ter­nal foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tion was fi­nalised by the FAU dur­ing 2016. Dis­ci­plinary ac­tion was in­sti­tuted against an of­fi­cial and the crim­i­nal case herein is cur­rently un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Direc­torate for Pri­or­ity Crime In­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Mahlangu said about the high court fur­ni­ture con­tract.

Mahlangu said an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched at the end of last month into the other two ten­ders.

/ Mduduzi Ndzingi

EFF sec­re­tary-gen­eral Go­drich Gardee de­posed the af­fi­davit at the Hill­brow po­lice sta­tion.

Ndi­vhuwo Mu­lamu

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