DA wants Madonsela to probe Mpisane tenders

2012-10-24 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance wants Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate the awarding of tenders by eThekwini Municipality to a company owned by Durban businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane.

“The DA will be immediately requesting the Public Protector to investigate the awarding of tenders to Zikhulise Construction, Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport to build RDP houses in eThekwini,” the party’s chief whip Dean Macpherson said yesterday. He also said the company should never have been awarded any contracts due to Mpisane’s previous fraud convictions.

“Clearly the supply chain management process has been manipulated to favour Zikhulise while overlooking these serious transgressions,” Macpherson said.

Mpisane, who is now facing corruption charges, was reportedly awarded a R140 million tender for the Umlazi Infill Housing Project using a procurement clause that bypasses tenders.

The tender was later suspended when its legitimacy was questioned, but Mpisane challenged the suspension in court and the municipality made an out-of-court settlement that resulted in her getting the tender back.

“The DA will ask advocate Madonsela to look into the city manager’s role in settling out of court after the contracts were suspended and if he acted illegally [without] a mandate from the executive committee or council,” he said. Macpherson also said his party wanted Madonsela to probe the revenue management system (RMS) after its budget skyrocketed from R150 million in 2003 to R485 million in 2008.

He repeated calls made last week by DA caucus leader Tex Collins that Sithole be immediately suspended and investigated by council.

Macpherson said his party has informed the eThekwini mayor in writing about its call for Sithole’s suspension.

Meanwhile, Human Settlements MEC Ravi Pilay confirmed that he had been consulted by the municipality and supported the principle of settlement.

“This was informed by the technical legalities of the dispute and the urgency of getting houses built for people who have been waiting a long time,” Ravi said.

He also said there was no guarantee that Mpisane’s company would be awarded contracts in future.

Municipal spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng could not be reached for comment.

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