Masutha denies Gordhan ordered tender cancellation

2016-05-22 11:28
 (Stefan Heunis, AFP)

(Stefan Heunis, AFP)

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Johannesburg  Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha has denied Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan "ordered" him to cancel a multi-million rand prisons tender awarded to an ANC benefactor.

"It is quite disheartening and somehow condescending that such an insinuation could be made, where one cabinet minister could be instructed or ordered by his colleague to cancel a contract under his administration," Masutha's spokesperson, Mthunzi Mhaga, said in a statement on Saturday.

Previously, News24 reported that Gordhan wrote to Masutha, telling him to cancel an IT tender – apparently worth R378m  with Integritron Integrated Solutions (IIS). He was also reported to have told Masutha to restrict it and its associate companies from doing business with government.

Masutha said while Gordhan had raised concerns in the letter, he was not ordered to cancel the contract. It merely contained advice, Mhaga said.

Irregularly appointed

In his letter, dated April 11, Gordhan wrote that the National Treasury had concluded its review of the bid process to see if the department of correctional services (DCS) complied with supply chain management laws during the bidding process. 

Gordhan said the review revealed IIS had been irregularly appointed.

Mhaga said on Saturday that Masutha responded to Gordhan’s letter in April. He told Gordhan that the Auditor General was auditing the procurement process and that it would be premature to take any action. 

Last month, News24 revealed that IIS was part of the SA Security Solutions and Technologies (Sasstec) group of companies that has benefited from government tenders. 

The Sasstec group approached the High Court in Pretoria at the beginning of May in connection with the controversy over the tender. 

Claudio Bollo, Sasstec's lawyer, told News24 the matter was struck off the urgent roll, but was still pending on the normal roll. 

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