Mjwara: Parties call for action on tender

2008-06-09 00:00

Both the IFP and the Democratic Alliance believe that Dr Jabulani Mjwara cannot continue to benefit from government business until the scandal surrounding the Agriculture Department, in which over R100 million in taxpayers’ money remains unaccounted for, is fully resolved.

Opposition parties who have long debated the litany of woes faced by the department, expressed shocked that its former head, Mjwara, has emerged as the preferred bidder for a multi-million rand tender at the Msunduzi Municipality.

They were reacting to yesterday’s front page story in The Witness on Mjwara being in line for a R12,8 million tender to dredge the Camps Drift canal. Mjwara left the department under a cloud after an internal audit revealed gross maladministration.

He resigned days before facing a hearing. A subsequent forensic investigation has formed the basis of a criminal investigation.

The DA’s Roger Burrows said his party will continue to call for the release of the forensic report into the Agriculture Department and for appropriate action — in the interim Mjwara should not be allowed to contract with either provincial or local government.

“Dr Mjwara represents the worst of politically connected appointments — incompetent, unaccountable and always able to bounce back somewhere else due to [his political connections],” he said.

IFP leader in the KZN Legislature, Dr Lionel Mtshali, said Mjwara being in line for a Msunduzi Municipal tender sums up all that is wrong with the tendering process in general.

He said Mjwara is a close political ally of people on the council and there are questions around his competence.

Mtshali, who claims Mjwara has been sheltered by the provincial government, said his party will pursue the issue in both the KZN provincial legislature and the Msunduzi Municipality.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Duzi Umgeni Conservation Trust, Dave Still, says the dredging of the canal is “now beyond urgent”.

He said the project was first budgeted for two years ago.

“It has taken until now to get environmental authorisation and to get through most to the procurement hoops.

“After all this time … it is frustrating that there is still no news on an appointment,” Still said.

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