Ethics committee wants proof of BEE kickbacks

2012-08-31 14:37

Parliament’s ethics committee has urged anyone with evidence of wrongdoing in black economic empowerment (BEE) contracts to come forward.

“We are concerned by media reports containing serious allegations about the integrity of public representatives and their spouses,” committee co-chairmen Ben Turok and Lemias Mashile said in a statement today.

On Tuesday, the Star newspaper reported that nine black businessmen claimed they were required to “grease the machinery”, a term for kickbacks, or face exclusion for dubious reasons from multimillion-rand contracts.

“The Star has learnt that the kickbacks are paid in cash, or through subcontracts given to relatives or the spouses of politicians and public servants, or the winning bidders are instructed to buy expensive ‘gifts’, such as cars, worth up to R1 million,” it reported.

It was also asserted that BEE companies passed on the costs of bribes in the prices charged to consumers.

Turok and Mashile said the committee had a responsibility to protect the integrity of Parliament.

“However, it is frustrating when allegations are made without evidence. The committee therefore requests any person with evidence of wrongdoing as referred to above to contact the committee as soon as possible,” they said. 

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