Malema probe could be reopened
Johannesburg - A probe into ANC Youth League president Julius Malema's company SGL Engineering would be revisited should new information be presented, Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, said on Thursday.
"If there are compelling reasons, we may re-look at the matter as a new investigation," Madonsela said.
At two separate meetings held with AfriForum Youth, Cope and City Press Newspaper, Madonsela said she would consider re-visiting the matter after assessing it with the assistance of an internal quality review panel
Oupa Segalwe, spokesperson for her office, said City Press' editor Ferial Haffajee and journalist Piet Rampedi were also present as it was the first newspaper to publish a story about the alleged irregular awarding of tenders.
"The purpose of the two meetings was to give AfriForum Youth and Cope, as complainants in the case, and the City Press, an opportunity to table their concerns regarding the findings and map a way forward," Segalwe said.
"While both the complainants and the City Press expressed their dissatisfaction on certain parts of the findings and how the investigation was conducted, they also accepted that the Public Protector's findings were informed by the lack of evidence to prove that there was political influence on the municipalities involved to award the tenders to SGL Engineering Projects."
Clearing some of the misunderstandings, the Public Protector said she had made no finding on whether some of the tenders were awarded improperly or not because there was no proper record-keeping at some of the municipalities involved.
She explained that she had, however, made a finding that the municipalities had violated the Municipal Finance Management Act by not keeping the said records and that this constituted maladministration on its own, Segalwe said.
Earlier AfriForum Youth said it was given permission by the Public Protector to access records of the recent investigation.
"These records will be used for AfriForum Youth's independent investigation into any possible irregularities with the awarding of municipal tenders to SGL Engineering Projects in various municipal areas in Limpopo and North West," AfriForum Youth chairperson Ernst Roets said.
"In turn, additional information which may be obtained during the investigation, will be made available to the public protector as well."
AfriForum Youth had further asked Madonsela for an amendment of the finding of her office's investigation.
"The finding was that no irregularities could be established, as several of the municipalities in question had been unable to provide administrative records of their tender processes."
The only conclusion that could be drawn from this was that there were irregularities, Roets said.