EFF, DA out for Makhura and Nkomo-Ralehoko’s heads over R30m tender

EFF to lay criminal charges against Makhura and Nkomo-Ralehoko. Picture: Supplied
EFF to lay criminal charges against Makhura and Nkomo-Ralehoko. Picture: Supplied

EFF Gauteng leadership plans to lay charges against Gauteng Premier David Makhura as well as Finance and e-Government MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko for a controversial R30 million information technology (IT) and cybersecurity tender.

This follows allegations that the Gauteng government used the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic as a cover to rush through a big IT contract without following proper procedures.

City Press reported that the R30 million tender was published with a 24-hour submission deadline.

The Gauteng EFF, led by provincial deputy chairperson Itani Mukwevho, will be laying fraud and corruption charges against Makhura and Nkomo-Ralehoko for floundering supply chain management procedures.
Itani Mukwevho

Nkomo-Ralehoko requested permission from the embattled Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams for a deviation from following normal procurement processes.

Ndabeni-Abrahams has since been placed on special leave by President Cyril Ramaphosa for publicly floundering lockdown regulations.

The contract was won by In2IT Technologies, the sponsor of National First Division football side Moroka Swallows.

The contract angered many and placed Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi in hot water for being involved with the IT company.

However, early this week, Lesufi distanced himself from the disputed contract and said Moroka Swallows, which he is affiliated with, had terminated its sponsorship relationship with In2IT Technologies.

“I was not involved in this tender, nor was I lobbied by the company or the department of e-Government to support the bid,” Lesufi said.

On Thursday, the DA declared that appropriate action had to be taken against Lesufi and that he must be removed from office if it is found that he used his influence and position to help In2IT Technologies procure the tender.

“The DA has been reliably informed that Nkomo-Ralehoko requested permission from Ndabeni-Abrahams to deviate from the normal procurement processes.

“We have also been reliably informed that the company which won the tender was thoroughly prepared despite only having 24 hours to submit all the necessary documents,” the party said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Makhura requested that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probe the tender on suspicion that the rules were bent using Covid-19 as an excuse.

READ: Treasury puts brakes on controversial R30m express tender 

“I am deeply concerned about allegations that a tender was irregularly awarded by the department of e-Government. I view these allegations in a serious light. Accordingly, I have requested the SIU to immediately investigate these allegations,” Makhura said.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the investigation had begun and the matter would be treated with urgency.

“We acknowledge the fact that we need to deal with this with the urgency it deserves,” he said, adding that staff members were recalled from lockdown seclusion and seconded to Makhura’s office to gather information about the tender process.

The red berets were due to lay corruption charges on Thursday at the Johannesburg Central Police Station at 12 noon.

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