‘High-profile arrests imminent’ in fight for lucrative tenders

2015-06-10 15:01
North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo

North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo

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A private investigation could lead to the arrests of some “high profile” people in the North West, according to one of the businessmen who have been complaining about the alleged sidelining of some businesses by the administration led by Supra Mahumapelo.

Sello Mogodiri said so serious was the investigation and contents thereof that a Rustenburg businessman, Oupa Mphomane, had been placed under witness protection for his own safety.

He would not say why this had been done, but in most cases people were placed under protection if they were key witnesses in pending court matters or ongoing investigations.

Mphomane was arrested in 2011 with former Rustenburg mayor Matthew Wolmarans for the murder of whistle-blower Moss Phakoe.

He walked free because the state said there was no evidence linking him directly to the murder.

Meanwhile, Mogodiri revealed news of the investigation when he was asked to respond to revelations made by the North West government that he and two other businessmen, Wandile Bozwana and Fana Moraka, were complaining but they had actually benefited from government tenders.

Mogodiri could not say whether the investigation coul be linked to allegations made by some of the businessmen against Mahumapelo.

The North West premier was accused, among others, of blacklisting some companies from getting government tenders and influencing their awarding in favour of his allies.

Mahumapelo, an ANC chairperson in the province, was also accused of political interference in government procurement as well as terminating existing contracts awarded before he became premier.

In response to this, the North West government last week released values of contracts awarded to the three men who were part of the disgruntled group of businessmen calling themselves the “North West Business Forum”.

Mogodiri said his organisation had taken it upon itself to investigate, gather evidence and approach the courts “very soon” when there was enough proof to get people arrested and hauled before court.

“This will happen by private prosecution,” said Mogodiri. According to Mogodiri, no cases have been registered as yet but according to private prosecution processes, the courts can be approached by private people who believe they have tangible evidence for someone to be tried and convicted.

He would not respond to a government statement that he had secured tenders to the value of R33 million.

His colleague Moraka refuted claims that he was awarded tenders to the combined value of R139 million by two municipalities.

“They must provide evidence to their claims, because their numbers are not adding up, and state the period of the contract because in my case as a security surveillance company, we get long-term contracts paying on a monthly basis. We are still saying that people must compete for tenders on a fair basis and for the awarding to be based on whether they qualify and they’re well-priced and not otherwise,” said Moraka.

Read more on:    north west  |  tenders

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