SIU cracks down on dodgy tenders in troubled North West

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Special Investigating Unit (SIU) head Advocate Andy Mothibi.
Special Investigating Unit (SIU) head Advocate Andy Mothibi.
Tebogo Letsie, Gallo Images, City Press
  • The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) is probing corrupt tenders worth millions at municipalities and government departments in the North West.
  • The national government placed the province under administration in 2018.
  • Last month, the administration period was extended by another three months.

Corruption and the awarding of tenders without following proper procurement processes seems to be the order of the day in the North West government.

The Special Investigative Unit (SIU) says it has taken several cases to the Special Tribunal for a determination. These cases involve around R59 million.

On top of that, the SIU and Moretele Local Municipality are also facing off in the Special Tribunal over an ICT contract, valued at R129 983 741.28, that was irregularly awarded.

READ | North West ANC determined to remove administrators sent by national government

The crime busting unit also wants a R190 million tender for a fleet of municipal vehicles reviewed, as it believes it was illegally awarded.

These were just some of the investigations SIU head Andy Mothibi delved into as he presented the findings to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Monday.

He told the NCOP’s ad-hoc committee on the Section 100 intervention in the North West these figures are not final.

“The total amount of public funds involved in corrupt activities cannot be quantified at this stage as the investigation is still under way. The matters that are currently at Special Tribunal for determination are sitting at around R59 million,” he said.

The investigations at the Moretele and Madibeng municipalities are not part of the investigations focusing on the Section 100 intervention.

Cabinet invoked section 100(1) of the Constitution on the North West Department of Health on 25 April 2018, placing the department under national government's administration.

In May 2018, the entire provincial government was placed under administration.

Section 100 allows the national executive to intervene in a provincial government if it has been established that the provincial authority can not fulfil its Constitutional obligations

National government stepped in after major financial, governance and capacity challenges were recorded at provincial departments.

Mothibi said the investigation into Madibeng municipality relates to an illegal award of a tender for fleet of municipal vehicles.

The Moretele investigation relates to the illegal awarding of an ICT tender, Mothibi said.

Mothibi said the matter involving a contract with Mediosa, who received R30 million upfront irregularly, is expected to be finalised by the end of April.

“The recovery of the R30 million in respect of the matter of the former HOD is at the Tribunal,” he said.

It is alleged that the Head of Department of Health signed a service level agreement with Mediosa without following tender procedures. An upfront payment was made. 

READ HERE | North West premier keeps SIU waiting for green light to probe more corruption cases

Another case, involving scholar transport operators who allegedly inflated their kilometres covered (to increase claims against government), is also expected to be finalised by the end of April, Mothibi said.

"There are no cases of irregular expenditure referred to the SIU for further investigation. However, where (the) SIU made a finding of irregularity regarding a specific supply chain management process, the resultant contract and the expenditure resulting from that contract would be irregular in nature.

"Twenty-nine matters were provisionally closed by the Unit due to lack of evidence and supporting documentation to support the allegations.

"If the whistle blowers can bring evidence supporting the allegations, the allegations will be reviewed. The whistleblowers have been informed accordingly,” he said.

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