Sunday, August 14, 2011

Malema: The deals continue

14 August, 2011

Today a Sunday Times investigation can reveal a web of tenders worth tens of millions of rands manipulated through companies controlled by Julius Malema and his associates in the ANC Youth League.

Project management units (PMUs) appear to be the key mechanisms they use to influence how tenders work.

PMUs oversee the work done by companies that win tenders, and in two key Limpopo government departments - roads and transport, and housing - this role has been outsourced to private companies with links to Malema and his cronies.

The transport department's PMU contract went to On-Point Engineering, and the housing department PMU was outsourced to a company called Aurecon.

Malema confirmed his "family's shareholding" in On-Point through his Ratanang Trust to the Mail & Guardian last week. Malema associate and former youth league treasurer Steve Bosch {S’thembiso Bosch} has a stake in Aurecon.

Yet, both Malema's relative, Tshepo Malema, and Bosch's own company, Sizani Build It, have also scored government tenders from the same departments. Both departments tried to downplay the influence of these PMUs in awarding lucrative tenders that then go to Malema's associates.

Thesan Moodley, spokesman for the department of transport, said On-Point provided only "technical support" to the bid specification committee. "They cannot make a decision on who gets anything. The final decision is made by the department."

He denied On-Point had played any role in awarding tenders to companies linked to Malema.

But he admitted that they gave advice on tenders to officials who make the final call.

The Limpopo Department of Housing said its project management unit's role was "strictly to monitor and ensure that contractors build RDP houses according to specification and ensure quality", said spokesman Dieketseng Diale.

"Aurecon has no role whatsoever in awarding tenders in the department."

She also denied Malema had any influence over tender awards. "Malema does not work for the department and therefore he is in no position to decide or influence who is awarded a tender. Your inference is purely shaped by racial prejudice."

The department of housing is now headed by two former youth league members.
But several sources in the province close to government tender processes said Malema was a key driver in ensuring tenders are dished out to his associates.

"It's clear that Julius Malema is behind the manipulation," a veteran ANC member and senior Limpopo government official told the Sunday Times, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said there was "no administrative need" for project management units, which simply served as engine rooms to manipulate tender awards.

"These boys (of the youth league), they manipulate where the tenders go. They deploy people to the project management units, bid committees and selection panels to make sure the tenders go to the right people."

Recent tender documents seen by the Sunday Times show several entities whose owners are close to Malema received tenders from roads and transport - the same department that gets "technical advice" on dishing out tenders from Malema's company, On-Point.

On July 14 and 15, Bosch's Sizani Build It won two building tenders from the department of roads.

Aurecon, in which Bosch also has shares, also landed a R3.3-million PMU tender for "priority/pilot housing projects" last year from the department of housing, according to the tender documents.

Both Limpopo housing MEC Soviet Lekganyane and head of department Clifford Motsepe are former league members who served under Malema.

Bosch declined to comment on Aurecon or explain his relationship with Malema.

"Obviously you have this obsession about Malema that you want to write anything to sell your papers."

Other Malema cronies who benefited from roads tenders include Tshepo Malema - despite the fact that Malema's On-Point provides the roads department with advice on tenders.

Tshepo Malema's company, Arandi Trading, won a tender on July 14 for supplying the department with "painting materials".

Asked about the paint supply tender, he said: "I don't talk to the media. That's not my work. My work is to do business."

No comments:

Post a Comment