ANC caucus opens case against ActionSA MMC amid procurement irregularities

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MMC of Economic Development Nkululeko Mbundu. Photo: Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images. Photo : Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo
MMC of Economic Development Nkululeko Mbundu. Photo: Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images. Photo : Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo

POLITICS


On Monday, the City of Johannesburg’s ANC caucus opened a case against MMC for Economic Development Nkululeko Mbundu for allegedly interfering in a procurement process for the refurbishment of the Walter Sisulu Square in Pimville, Soweto.

The Johannesburg Property Company (JPC), which is responsible for managing the property assets of the city, wrote to National Treasury on May 11 enquiring on how to proceed with the procurement process after Mbundu’s interference.

On June 3, National Treasury replied to JPC acting chief financial officer Sipho Mzobe’s letter, advising that a case be opened.

READ: Joburg Property Company chair removed for 'inaction' over SIU report on 'questionable activities'

Police spokesperson Major General Mavela Masondo confirmed to City Press that an investigation was under way: “As per case the number provided, police can confirm that a case of intimidation was opened at the Johannesburg Central Police Station on June 13. No arrests have been made yet.”

Mbundu allegedly discussed the bill of quantities with certain service providers.

A bill of quantities indicates market-related prices of a project and defines the quality and quantity of work required to be carried out by a main contractor to complete said project.

“It is alleged that the quantity surveyor met with the MMC, his delegation and some tenants of Walter Sisulu Square and discussed the contents of the bill of quantities during the visit to the [national heritage site],” reads the letter.

It alleges that the MMC discussed the document in detail with a particular service provider and even called other service providers to get their prices.

Mbunda, according to the property company, should not have shared details of the bill of quantities as this fell outside of his mandate.

LEAKS TO STAKEHOLDERS

The JPC said it was not sure how many people had a copy of the bill of quantities.

“It is also important to note that in terms of section 117 of the MFMA [Municipal Finance Management Act], no councillor of any municipality may be a member of a municipal bid committee or any other committee evaluating or approving tenders, quotations, contracts or other bids, nor attend any such meeting as an observer.”

“National Treasury is of the view that there were material irregularities in the supply chain processes, therefore the JPC may request the accounting officer to cancel the procurement process,” the letter said.

National Treasury requested Mbundu’s conduct to be probed through applicable processes.

MAYOR’S RESPONSE

On Tuesday, the ANC caucus issued a statement slamming the silence of Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse on the matter, saying her conduct was a contradiction to good governance.

“The deafening silence of mayor Phalatse against the damning allegations of improper conduct by the MMC is worrisome, and her failure to act against him soils the good governance rhetoric she’s been advocating since coming into office.”

READ: City of Johannesburg fires senior official for awarding tenders to own company

The ANC called for the procurement process to be cancelled and started afresh.

The caucus wants Mbundu, a member of ActionSA, to be suspended.

“The multi-party government led by the DA must not protect its position to remain in government by shielding those who are corrupt.”


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