‘Shady’ firm bids to stay on
Hundreds of jobs on the line over security contract
KHUSELANI Security & Risk Management (KSA) has bid for Msunduzi’s security tender even though the City terminated its previous contract over allegations of fraud.
In January, Msunduzi issued a notice to terminate its multi-million rand contract with KSA over allegations that more than 10 counts of fraud were committed by KSA, including submitting six false documents as well as overcharging the municipality.
However, the City and KSA later agreed that the contract would only be officially terminated at the end of this month (April) since the municipality needed time to appoint a new service provider.
The KSA contract was to be ended following damning findings by the Special Investigating Unit, which was directed by former president Jacob Zuma to investigate the allegations of fraud and non-compliance related to the security tenders at Msunduzi.
In an exclusive interview with The Witness, KSA’s director Mahomed Yacoob denied the allegations, saying his company never acted unlawfully during the 2009 and 2013 bidding processes.
The company provided security guards, bodyguards and an armed response unit, which cost the City approximately R7 million a month.
He confirmed that KSA is also bidding for the new contract and is confident the company will get it. The tender closed on February 23 but the contract is yet to be awarded.
“KSA believes that there is no reason it shouldn’t be successful. We haven’t been found guilty on any of the allegations made.
“We hope there is no political interference in the awarding of the tender because it should be a clean and fair process,” said Yacoob.
He said the adjudication of the tender is giving him sleepless nights as 750 guards are at risk of losing their jobs if KSA fails to secure a new contract with Msunduzi.
“It might be 750 people who will be unemployed but each of them support families of at least five people, so there are more people that are going to suffer because of this.
“The sad part is that some of the guards are old and no one is going to want to employ them because they are close to retirement,” said Yacoob.
He said if KSA does not get the contract they will try and negotiate with the new service provider to secure employment for the guards.
“It weighs heavily on me because they [guards] are really good at their jobs but now they are facing unemployment because they are with KSA,” he said.
Yacoob said if there are delays in awarding the tender, his hope is that Msunduzi will extend the contract from month to month.
He said KSA has suffered severe reputational damage because of the controversial contract with Msunduzi and there are fears that they could lose out on other business opportunities. He said the company has in excess of 4 000 guards around the country providing security to private companies and properties belonging to cities such as Cape Town and Durban, but it is the Msunduzi contract that is always in the press.
Yacoob said contrary to what has been reported in the media, KSA has never flouted any regulation or bribed anyone during the bidding for any of its multiple contracts.
“Unfortunately we have to go to court to fight the allegations made against us. It’s costly but there is nothing we can do because we have to protect our reputation. Fortunately, we have been successful in our past legal battles,” he said.
Provincial secretary of the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) Edgar Mbina said they are engaging with KSA and hope that they can save the guards’ jobs.