Top Cape company's R800m tender probed

2012-03-08 22:37
Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela will investigate the controversial Sekunjalo tender for marine patrols, her office confirmed on Thursday.

Democratic Alliance spokesperson Pieter van Dalen said this was at the request of his party.

"We trust that the public protector will get to the bottom of the murky circumstances surrounding a tender that may well have put our marine resources and the livelihoods of fishermen at risk," he said.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson announced in November that Sekunjalo had been awarded an R800m contract to man and maintain state-owned marine patrol vessels.

The contract was subsequently withdrawn.

The DA said it had in its possession a forensic audit report indicating blatant bias by some members of the bid adjudication committee, Van Dalen said. It was apparent the company did not have the expertise to do the job, he said.

In addition, its chairperson Dr Iqbal Survé was politically well-connected, having travelled overseas with official business delegations accompanying President Jacob Zuma and other ministers.

Premier Fishing, a Sekunjalo subsidiary, holds extensive fishing rights.

This would in effect have set Sekunjalo up as both player and referee, Van Dalen said.

He said it was not clear who would patrol South Africa's coastlines at the end of March when the existing contract, with Smit Amandla, expires.

Sekunjalo Investments Ltd, listed on the JSE, holds investments in businesses including health care, pharmaceuticals, fishing, and information technology.

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