JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA Mar 27 2010 07:39
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The Public Protector is to probe tenders awarded to the company SGL Engineering Projects, on whose board ANC Youth League president Julius Malema apparently serves as a director.
The tenders include a R2,1-million sewerage upgrade, R39,3-million sewerage reticulation project, and a R27,9-million street paving and
drainage contract, Kgalalelo Masibi, a spokesperson for the Office of the Public Protector, said on Friday .
Also under investigation were a R28-million tender for several municipal infrastructure projects and a R2-billion roads tender, she said.
The investigation followed complaints by AfriForum Youth and the Congress of the People.
"The Public Protector can only investigate the conduct of public authorities," said Masibi.
"The investigation will focus on whether any conduct in the award or management of the contracts in question was improper," she said.
Public Protector advocate Thuli Madonsela earlier said her office had received a number of complaints about alleged tender irregularities in various municipalities across Limpopo.
"I have assembled a team to undertake this task. I have also initiated talks with the Auditor General with a view to conduct a joint investigation," she said.
'I've never got any lucrative tender from anybody'
In an interview with the Mail & Guardian this week, Malema was asked if he thought it was fair to ask how he had accumulated his wealth at such a young age.
Malema replied: "It's very fair. But write facts. What the media did [showed] it was never interested in the facts. I am not rich. I do not have millions as reported."
He said that all his houses had bonds and were financed by banks.
"I've never got any lucrative tender from anybody, including the company called SGL.
"I live on handouts most of the time. If I don't have food to eat, I can call Cassel Mathale [premier of Limpopo] and say: "Chief, can you help me? I've got nothing here." I can call Thaba Mufamadi, I can call Pule Mabe [ANCYL treasurer general] or Mbalula. They all do the same with me. That's how we have come to relate to each other."