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Monday, May 17, 2021

The Presidency denies Free State province school construction tender fraud

The Presidency has issued a statement denying allegations of corruption made against President Cyril Ramaphosa ’s involvement in a “dubious tender”.

Reports state that a school construction tender was awarded to Ramaphosa’s Shanduka Foundation by Free State ‘s department of education without following proper protocols.

According to The Star newspaper, the tender was never advertised and there were some discrepancies in the awarding of the tender.

“The Star has seen an affidavit from an official of the Free State Department of Education which says that there may have been discrepancies in the awarding of the tender,” said the newspaper.

Adding that the department of public works has confirmed to the newspaper that some important documents relating to the schools construction are missing and that Reserve Bank shareholder, Fanie Fondse, has laid criminal charges against Ramaphosa at the Sandton Police Station for corruption related to Shanduka’s tender bid to build schools in the Free State.

In response the president’s media team said the newspaper reports were not clear on the details of the complaint and that the original article contained glaring inaccuracies and a misrepresenting of facts.

“Shanduka Group never received a tender for the construction of any schools in the Free State,” said Ramaphosa ‘s media team in response.

“Neither President Ramaphosa nor any companies in which he held interests has ever received any benefit from school construction in the Free State or anywhere else in the country.

“On the contrary, both President Ramaphosa and Shanduka have made substantial financial contributions towards the construction and development of schools,” said Ramaphosa ‘s spokesperson Tyrone Seale in a statement.

The Star also reported that the Free State MEC for education, Tate Makgoe, was also a member of the Shanduka Trust board at the time, while Ramaphosa served as the chairperson.

To this, Seale responded that Ramaphosa was neither a director nor a shareholder in Shanduka Group in 2015, “at the time he was alleged to have ‘persuaded’ the provincial department to award the non-existent contract,” he said.

“He exited the business in November 2014,” added Seale.

Adding that neither President Ramaphosa, nor any companies in which he held interests, has ever received any benefit from school construction in the Free State or anywhere else in the country.

“On the contrary, both President Ramaphosa and Shanduka have made substantial financial contributions towards the construction and development of schools,” said Seale.

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