North West dept head suspended
Johannesburg - Acting North West roads and transport department head Sandile Mbanjwa was suspended on Thursday, Premier Thandi Modise said.
Modise said Mbanjwa was being investigated for allegedly illegally awarding a construction tender.
"To maintain credibility of the investigation, [Mbanjwa] is with immediate effect placed on precautionary suspension," the premier said in a statement.
"This, I should emphasise, does not constitute a finding of guilt against him."
Project construction on the P34/2 Koster and Lichtenburg roads would be temporarily suspended pending a re-evaluation by an independent engineer.
This would determine the merit of the allegations and ensure due process was followed in the appointment of the contractor, she said.
"We expect the process to be finalised within a week’s time."
Committed to clean governance
Modise said she received a high court application on Wednesday, September 28 seeking to interdict construction on the road after the tender was awarded to Down Touch Investments.
Globul Roads challenged the tender allocation, arguing that it was the more favourable candidate.
"Given the seriousness of the allegations, I briefed the executive council of my intention to appoint an independent technical team to re-evaluate the bid in question."
The department opted for this particular route to minimise further delays, as the project construction had inconvenienced communities for more than three years.
"We wish to reiterate our commitment to clean governance and reassure the public that we will endeavour to conclude the matter in the shortest possible time," Modise said.