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PosOnderwerp: The Public Protector has recommended    Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:25 pm

that President Jacob Zuma investigate the circumstances under which a now cancelled security contract was awarded to a company associated with Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda, the DA said on Wednesday.

"According to the report, the award of the security contract to Abalozi by the Gauteng department of public transport, roads and works (GDTRW) in October 2008 was irregular," DA spokesman Jack Bloom said.

"This was because it was awarded without any competitive bidding process and did not comply with the constitutional requirement of cost-effectiveness, nor the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act."

Last week Gauteng's roads department confirmed that it had cancelled the contract due to irregularities in the procurement process, in response to questions posed by the DA in the provincial legislature.
Continues Below ↓







In a written reply, the MEC Bheki Nkosi said the contract, which had cost R70 million so far, was awarded without procurement processes being followed.

"We can safely say no. GNS [Abalozi's predecessor] rendered services to the department, however we discovered that there are companies who could do the same service at a much lower rate," he said.

The MEC at the time was Ignatius Jacobs, the premier Mbhazima Shilowa, who left the ANC to co-form Cope, and the accounting officer was Sibusiso Buthelezi who was given a R1 million settlement to leave the department amid corruption allegations.

Bloom said last week he was pleased the contract had been cancelled, but said an investigation was needed about the "fishy" matter.

In a follow-up on Wednesday, he said he had received a response from the Public Protector, who he had asked to investigate the matter.

"There was 'no evidence' that General Nyanda 'was directly involved in securing the contract, although by its own admission, the GDTRW did take into consideration his background in the security sector in the award of some of the contracts'. There was therefore no conflict of interest or violation of the Executive Members' Ethics Act," Bloom said, quoting from the protector's report.

However, the protector said the circumstances under which the contract was awarded "is cause for concern, particularly as there seems to be a growing trend in this direction, with attendant risks regarding the quality and cost-effectiveness of goods and services procured under these circumstances, as well as the impact on fair competition".

Bloom said at the time of Nkosi's reply that he had been told there had been no tender process because the matter was urgent, but he rejected this, saying there were numerous security companies who could have put in a tender.
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