DA demands probe of multimillion rand security tender

By Drum Digital
14 January 2014

Ethekwini DA Causus leader, Zwakele Mncwango has urged the municipality to investigate the R7.5-million awarded to Isidingo Security Services.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on the African National Congress-led eThekwini municipality in KwaZulu-Natal to “urgently” investigate the awarding of a multimillion rand security tender.

Ethekwini DA Caucus leader, Zwakele Mncwango has written to the municipal manager, Sibusiso Sithole asking him to investigate why Isidingo Security Services was awarded the R7.5-million tender while police were still investigating the company.

Mncwango claims police are investigating Isidingo for pension fraud.

Isidingo could not be reached for comment.

Isidingo provides security services to Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban.

It has been reported that Isidingo owes the private Security Sector Provident Fund (PSSPF) R10-million in outstanding staff contributions.

This has resulted in the withdrawal of their gold membership status with the SA Security Association.

Gold membership status is given to companies who comply with the security sector’s stringent strict legal obligations.

One of those includes meeting the PSSPF’s requirements which Isidingo has reportedly failed to do.

“Isidingo clearly has a murky past and had demonstrated a history of flouting the law. It is simply unacceptable that they can then be entrusted with providing security for a venue as prestigious as the ICC that hosts world-class events throughout the year,” said Mncwango in a media statement.

The company has been involved in a number of controversies.

Three years ago two of its security guards were arrested when found to be transporting 54 guns without permits.

In addition, 109 guns seized from the company were classified as illegal by the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority.

In 2008 media reports revealed that the company had flouted employment legislation following a probe by the labour department who further revealed that the company had failed to pay its workers the R409 000 it owed them.

Mncwango insists that: “Sithole must investigate this matter urgently and ensure that only a reputable company that meets all industry and legal requirements is given this contract.”

Ethekwini Municipality and Isidingo could not be reached for comment.

But ICC CEO, Julie-May Ellingson, told the Daily News newspaper that she was not aware of the fraud allegation, saying the company had provided all the legal documents to prove that it was compliant with legislation. – by Khosi Biyela

(Pic: ssgcalgary.com)

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