Gauteng’s R273 million deal valid, judge rules

2009-12-11 09:57

THE R273 million contract between the Gauteng health department and

3P Consulting is valid, a South Gauteng High Court judge ruled yesterday.

Judge Collin Lamont said 3P Consulting was entitled to

relief.

Last week, the department’s lawyer, advocate Andre Gautschi, blamed

its former boss, Sybil ­Ngcobo, for extending the contract for three years to

March 2012 without authority.

The initial contract signed in 2007 was for two years with an

option to renew for another two.

Lamont rejected the department’s argument, saying the processes

followed were fair, equitable, competitive and cost-effective.

3P Consulting took the department to court after Gauteng health MEC

Qedani Mahlangu cancelled the contract.

Mahlangu acted after Auditor-General Terence Nombembe asked for it

be reviewed.

Nombembe also blamed inadequate political oversight in the

department for the contract for its financial woes.

The department had challenged the validity of the three-year

extension because no tender processes were followed.

It argued that the extension inconvenienced potential bidders who

might have expected normal government procurement procedures to be

followed.

In the judgement,Lamont said history had been overtaken by

events.

The judge did not make an order on 3P Consulting’s claim that it

was owed more than R11 million in unpaid invoices and interest from late

payments.

“The applicant (3P) is free to pursue the matter,” Lamont

said.

The department’s lawyers said they were awaiting instruction and

would study the judgement but did not rule out an appeal.


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