R1.2bn security contracts: HOD arrested

2013-08-08 10:02

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The head of Mpumalanga's safety and security department, Thulani Sibuyi, has been arrested in connection with the awarding of security contracts worth R1.2 billion for government offices, the Hawks have confirmed.

Sibuyi's arrest follows that of GNT Security owner Vusi (Stevens) Mashaba yesterday afternoon.

The Hawks' Captain Paul Ramaloko this morning said they would appear in court today.

The arrests are the result of an ongoing large-scale investigation into the security contracts for the provincial government offices.

The tenders, which were awarded to 18 security companies by the Mpumalanga department of safety and security about two years ago, have drawn the attention of police following allegations that they were rigged.

Some local companies complained that the department had hired many companies from KwaZulu-Natal where Sibuyi has links, but they failed in their North Gauteng High Court bid in 2011 to have the awarding of the tenders interdicted.

They also complained that the three-year tender would cost the provincial government R4.4 billion because of price inflations.

A source close to the investigation said Mashaba would appear in the Nelspruit regional court today on a charge of using a fraudulent tax clearance certificate when he applied for the tender that is worth about R4 million a month.

“We’re looking at each and every security tender that was awarded by the department. There are 18 companies that benefited,” the source said.

Sibuyi is accused of contravening the Public Finance Management Act.

At the time of the security companies' unsuccessful court bid, Sibuyi denied any wrongdoing and said he was satisfied with the evaluation, adjudication and awarding of the contract.

At that time, Sibuyi said the department would have won the case if it had gone to court. He also denied that he had had any influence on the awarding of the tenders.

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