Sekunjalo lays charges against Sunday Times

2013-12-04 11:27

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Cape Town - Sekunjalo Investments has laid criminal charges against the Sunday Times and one of its journalists, Bobby Jordan, after the newspaper published extracts of a provisional report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela into the awarding of a tender to the company.

The Sunday Times reported details of the protector's report into the "irregular" awarding of a tender worth R800m to Sekunjalo Marine Services Consortium, which is led by businessman Iqbal Survé.

The tender was awarded two years ago by the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries for the management of its fleet of patrol and research vessels.

According to the Sunday Times, the protector's report found evidence of bid rigging and said the contract was improper and constituted maladministration.

Offence

Sekunjalo Investments said in a statement that the journalist and newspaper violated section 7 (2) of the Public Protector Act, which states that the contents of the protector's draft provisional report are confidential and protected until the final report is released.

The final report will be released on Thursday.

"Section 11(1) of the Public Protector Act provides that any person who contravenes section 7(2) shall be guilty of an offence," the Sekunjalo statement read.

Sekunjalo stated that it was concerned that some of the findings were now in the public domain, and denied that it engaged in collusive tendering and/or bid riggings.

"Sekunjalo deplores the unauthorised publication by the Sunday Times. It has not been afforded an opportunity to examine the premise upon which the public protector allegedly arrived at the finding. It is for this very reason that the Public Protector Act 23 of 1994 makes it a criminal offence to disclose any information of this nature before the Public Protector releases her final and official report."

A Cape Town police spokesperson confirmed to the Cape Times that a charge had been laid, saying it was considered a civil matter and therefore no criminal investigation will be instituted.

Sunday Times editor Phylicia Oppelt had not responded to a request by News24 for comment at the time of publication on Wednesday.

Read more on:    sunday times  |  sekunjalo investments  |  phylicia oppelt  |  iqbal surve  |  thuli madonsela  |  tenders  |  media
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