The SIU gave ‘wrong advice’

Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality
Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has been accused of giving wrong advice to a Limpopo municipality to hire new contractors on a disputed R326 million electrification tender that is before the court.

The SIU went to the Polokwane High Court in 2017 to stop the remainder of Mphaphuli Consulting (Pty) Ltd’s R326 million Operation Mabone Project contract to electrify 55 rural villages in the Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality in Burgersfort.

This was done under a 2014 Presidential Proclamation that did not involve the company, but maladmnitration and corruption at the municipality.

Read: Firm accuses SIU of being ‘hired gun’ in R326m contract dispute

Mphaphuli Consulting chief executive officer, Lufuno Mphaphuli, has written to SIU head, Advocate Andy Mothibi, requesting him to stop the municipality from hiring Eskom to complete the project.

“What is worrying us,” Mphaphuli said, “while we are having this matter determined by the judiciary, the municipality is on record that they were advised by the SIU to proceed with appointing third parties, including Eskom, to execute the work in our contract and indeed this has happened under the watchful eye of the SIU.”

“For these actions to have been executed under a valid contract amounts to reckless administration and is unlawful,” Mphaphuli added.

He said neither the SIU Act 74 of 1996 not the R52 Proclamation of 2014 empowered the SIU to promote maladministration.

SIU Nazreen Pandor did respond to questions emailed to her on Monday.

Before the SIU’s litigation, Mphaphuli had been fighting the municipality for non-payment of work his company had done.

Mphaphuli believes the SIU was acting in retaliation because of his company’s successful court action against the municipality.

An SIU official, said Mphaphuli, had declared in an August 1 2017 meeting the investigation was triggered after a request from the municipality.

Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality was placed under administration last year. It invested R230 million in the controversial VBS Mutual Bank.

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