Hawks cir­cle over Ma­sutha’s depart­ment

Jus­tice Min­istry un­der probe for fraud, cor­rup­tion

Sowetan - - News - By Ng­wako Mod­jadji

The po­lice’s elite crime fight­ing unit, the Hawks, is in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions of fraud and cor­rup­tion at the Depart­ment of Jus­tice and Con­sti­tu­tional De­vel­op­ment.

This comes af­ter Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, who has demon­strated that he will not tol­er­ate cor­rup­tion, called on the relevant au­thor­i­ties to in­ves­ti­gate al­le­ga­tions of fraud at the depart­ment.

Hawks spokesman Bri­gadier Hang­wani Mu­laudzi con­firmed this week that they had launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the depart­ment, led by Min­is­ter Michael Ma­sutha. “The doc­u­ment has been sub­mit­ted to se­ri­ous anti-cor­rup­tion unit. It has been al­lo­cated to an in­ves­ti­ga­tor. It means the in­ves­ti­ga­tion has started.”

Al­le­ga­tions of fraud and cor­rup­tion in the depart­ment came to light af­ter of­fi­cials in­clud­ing Eu­nice Mak­gopa, the man­ager of the Lim­popo state at­tor­ney’s of­fice, raised con­cerns about how a R10mil­lion ten­der was ir­reg­u­larly awarded to a Dur­ban com­pany to sup­ply fur­ni­ture to the Lim­popo High Court in Polok­wane.

Doc­u­ments show that San­jay Singh, the depart­ment’s chief di­rec­tor for sup­ply chain, sat on the de­part­men­tal bid ad­ju­di­ca­tion com­mit­tee even though he was ad­vis­ing the bid spec­i­fi­ca­tion com­mit­tee on draft­ing spec­i­fi­ca­tions for the pro­cure­ment of the fur­ni­ture.

The doc­u­ments fur­ther state that al­le­ga­tions against Singh came to light af­ter he was in­volved in the draft­ing of the spec­i­fi­ca­tions as he was in at­ten­dance at the meet­ings held by the bid spec­i­fi­ca­tion com­mit­tee, which led to Mak­gopa’s dis­ap­proval of the process fol­lowed.

“Based on our find­ings, we can con­clude that the bid ad­ju­di­ca­tion com­mit­tee should not have en­ter­tained the recommendations made by the BEC [bid eval­u­a­tion com­mit­tee] in that Style­craft [Of­fice] De­sign be awarded the ten­der,” the doc­u­ments read.

The depart­ment, how­ever, said the dis­ci­plinary hear­ing ex­on­er­ated Singh. “Mr Singh was ex­on­er­ated of all al­le­ga­tions af­ter due process, and the depart­ment re­gards this process as fi­nalised,” spokesman Steve Mahlangu said.

How­ever, the au­dit shows how Singh in­flu­enced the award­ing of the ten­der to Style­craft Of­fice De­sign.

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