Limpopo contracts worth over R1 billion under investigation

By Drum Digital
21 August 2013

Procurement contracts worth over R1 billion in Limpopo are being probed by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), Parliament's finance select committee was told on Wednesday. SIU officials and public service and administration department (DPSA) officials briefed the committee onprogress made in probes instituted after national government took over the running of five departments in the province in December 2011.

The departments were education, health, public works, treasury, and roads and transport.

"We are currently investigating 18 procurement contracts which is to the value of R1bn," SIU programme manager Leonard Lekgetho told MPs.

The biggest contracts under scrutiny were in the health department.

Four cases were under investigation in the department where officials allegedly flouted procurement laws.

"The value of those four matters amounts to [over] R900 million," Lekgetho said.

Five cases were being investigated in the education department, one in the treasury, five in the public works department, and three in the roads and transport departments.

On the non-disclosure of business interests, the SIU initially identified 302 cases. "Currently as we speak, 41 cases have been referred to the DPSA for institution of disciplinary action against the members," Lekgetho said. Another 48 cases were in the process of being referred to the DPSA for disciplinary action. "Investigations where we could not find anything are 114. Disciplinary cases completed by departments were 13 and cases where we did not investigate were 86." MPs were unhappy at the pace of action against those suspected of misconduct and criminal behaviour. DPSA official Mamodupi Mohala-Mulaudzi disagreed, saying progress was being made.

A total of 88 cases were referred to the DPSA by both the SIU and forensic firms who were contracted to probe financial irregularities.

Of those charged, 44 were in senior management positions, while 44 were junior staff members.

Two heads of department were given precautionary suspension letters and charged with wrongdoing.

Their disciplinary cases were set to start in September and October.

They remained suspended on full pay.

-by Sapa

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