City of Tshwane whistleblower tells water inquiry that Edwin Sodi received a R295m tender

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Edwin Sodi. (Photo by Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle)
Edwin Sodi. (Photo by Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle)
  • A whistleblower told the Hammanskraal community water inquiry that businessman Edwin Sodi received a R295 million tender. 
  • The three-day inquiry is hearing testimony about the state of the water in Hammanskraal. 
  • Action South Africa leader Herman Mashaba is calling on Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams to resign for his failure to deal with the water issue.

The Hammanskraal community water inquiry has heard testimony from a whistleblower that businessman Edwin Sodi has been implicated in another tender scandal. 

The witness, a City of Tshwane official only identified as Mr X, told the inquiry that the City of Tshwane awarded Sodi the R295 million tender. 

The municipal employee testified in camera to protect his identity.

Hammanskraal residents have not been able to drink tap water since 2015 and Action South Africa, led by former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, is holding hearings, looking into the community's water woes.

In a statement, Mashaba said the inquiry, chaired by Professor Jonas Letsoalo, heard testimony from the City of Tshwane official.

READ | Hammanskraal to get much-needed water tanks to improve quality

He has worked in the water industry for 30 years, Mashaba said. 

"His testimony has pointed the finger at serious irregularities in a R295 million tender awarded by the City of Tshwane to a joint venture, involving a company allegedly owned by Edwin Sodi." 

Sodi and six co-accused are facing corruption, money laundering and theft charges related to a R255 million Free State asbestos audit contract.

The whistleblower told the inquiry that the scope of work should have improved the water quality in Hammanskraal.

"Instead of this, the people of Hammanskraal continue to live without safe, drinkable water," Mashaba added.

The party filed an application with the City in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). It wants access to the tender documents for the contract.

But, instead of getting the information, the party said it was "being frustrated through what is clearly a deliberate effort to evade transparency".

"ActionSA will approach the courts, if necessary, to compel the City of Tshwane to provide these documents so that the people of Hammanskraal, and Tshwane more broadly, can see justice against those who take funds meant to fix a 16-year-long water crisis and use it for nefarious means."

Resign

The party is also demanding Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams' resignation for his failure to deal with the water crisis. 

Williams called the hearings a political stunt and refused to take part. 

"ActionSA warns the City of Tshwane and Mayor Williams to comply with our PAIA application in the one-week period left, or face the consequences."

Attempts to get comment from Sodi were unsuccessful.

The hearings end on Sunday.


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