Tender questions dog SA Sports Awards

2013-09-01 10:01

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The department of sport and recreation (SRSA) awarded an R18 million tender for the management of this year’s SA Sports Awards to a company with no “traceable” business premises or website.

Sabela Uyabizwa Media, which belongs to former Generations actress and television host Sulungeka Dazana, also seems not to have the necessary tax credentials to be in contention for such a massive government contract.

In another twist in the saga surrounding the controversial event, the organisers suddenly announced this week that the planned media launch, scheduled to be held at a top Sandton hotel on Wednesday, had been postponed because of “unforeseen circumstances”.

City Press’ sister newspaper Rapport covered the awarding of the event’s lucrative tender after several rival companies maintained last year’s contract was awarded to another events planner in a questionable manner.

Last week it was revealed that the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) wanted to distance itself from the event’s financial affairs.

Sascoc president Gideon Sam bemoaned the fact that, according to him, the events organiser in previous years went about working on the awards without being held accountable to anyone.

The government tender bulletin of July 19 indicates that the SRSA contract for this year’s awards, worth R17 941 313, was jointly awarded to Sabela Uyabizwa Media and Ultimate Sporting Concepts.

Company records show that 34-year-old Dazana is Sabela Uyabizwa’s sole director and the company’s only listed address is a plush mansion in the luxurious Eagle Canyon golf estate outside Johannesburg.

The company was registered in March last year.

Dazana, who used to be a presenter on SABC1’s business show The Enterprise Zone, organised an ANC-funded concert at the party’s Mangaung conference late last year.

An enquiry using the search function of the SA Revenue Service (Sars) for VAT-registered vendors showed no results for Sabela Uyabizwa Media. While this is not a prerequisite to do business with government, companies do have to have a valid tax clearance certificate.

Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay said he is not allowed to divulge the details of any company’s tax status.

But he did add: “If the VAT search function indicates the entity is not registered, the conclusion should be self-evident.”

Companies bidding to do business with state departments should be in possession of a valid tax clearance certificate.

SRSA spokesperson Paena Galane and the department’s director-general, Alec Moemi, both ignored several attempts by City Press to gain insight from the department regarding this year’s tender and the two companies that won the bid.

Eugene Marillier of Ultimate Sporting Concepts and SRSA did not respond to requests for Dazana or her company’s contact details. Sabela Uyabizwa Media has no website and the Yellow Pages’ online search function revealed no contact details for the company.

When City Press tried to visit her registered home at the golf estate, a man told the security guard at the gate that Sabela Uyabizwa Media’s offices had moved and that Dazana did not live there any more. The property’s deeds document showed that Dazana was the co-owner of the house with a man whose name also appears on the deeds document.

The sports awards’ media launch was supposed to take place at the Raddison Blu Gautrain hotel last Wednesday and Galane told City Press as late as last Saturday that the event was still scheduled to go ahead.

But when City Press asked the hotel on Wednesday about the launch it was told “the client” had cancelled last Friday.

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