DA wants auditor-general to probe ‘dodgy defence force’ tenders

2014-08-29 12:26

The Democratic Alliance has called on Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu to investigate allegations of irregularities in the awarding of tenders worth more than R200 million by the defence department.

“The dodgy defence force air transport tender must be investigated,” said DA MP David Maynier today.

“I am not going to allow the defence department to continue sticking its head in the sand and avoid a proper investigation into the awarding of this controversial tender.”

Maynier’s comments came after the Mail & Guardian earlier reported that the company that failed South African troops in Bangui, in the Central African Republic, last year had since secured 91 tenders worth R209 million.

Maynier said this matter had been ongoing for months, and the DA had raised questions about this tender previously.

“At a meeting of the portfolio committee on defence and military veterans on July 9, I asked the secretary of defence, Sam Gulube, whether the defence department was investigating alleged irregularities in the awarding tender for the transportation of troops and supporting equipment.”

Maynier said he received a response from Gulube on August 20, which stated that a proper approved procurement process was followed in obtaining the chartered aircraft.

Gulube told him the department had received a claim from a company alleging to have been positioned to supply air transport service at the time of the CAR evacuation. Gulube told Maynier a board of inquiry had been instituted in the matter and it was ongoing.

“What is clear from the reply is that the defence department is conducting an internal inquiry into the awarding of air transport contracts during the battle of Bangui in 2013,” said Maynier.

“However, the department of defence is clearly not conducting an internal inquiry into the alleged irregularities in awarding the tender for the transportation of troops and supporting equipment after the battle of Bangui.”

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