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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Panyaza Lesufi cleared in R30 million tender fraud

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was cleared in the controversial R30 million tender that was reported he influenced in 2020.

This was said by Deputy Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka on Wednesday during a media briefing on the release of 16 investigative reports.

Gcaleka said even though the contract was irregularly awarded, they found nothing wrong with how Lesufi awarded the tender.

Gcaleka said the allegations that Lesufi unduly influenced the award the R30 million tender to IN2IT was “found to be unsubstantiated”.

“There is no evidence indicating that Lesufi was involved in any procurement process of the SOC [Security Operations Centre] tender or that he disregarded the provisions of the code of conduct for members of the provincial executive council.”

“The investigation revealed that e-Gov advertised and awarded the SOC tender to IN2IT without following proper procurement processes and this constituted improper conduct and maladministration,” said Gcaleka .

Adding that those responsible for awarding the tender should be subjected to disciplinary action.

READ: SIU freezes accounts of decontamination companies contracted by GDE

“The provincial MEC of finance and e-government must ensure that Cyril Baloyi, the departmental head, conducts training in respect of all the executive officials of e-gov and officials involved in supply chain processes. This must happen within 30 working days of the report.

“Baloyi must also institute disciplinary steps against Mr Muthivhi for advising IN2IT of the tender award before a letter of appointment was issued and the contract signed by e-gov and IT2IT and against Ms Koyana for failing to follow supply chain processes in that she evaluated only two request for quotations on her own, outside the prescribed supply-chain management policy,” said Gcaleka.

In response Lesufi said: “I just hope those who insulted me and even laid a criminal case with the police will do the honourable thing”.

Lesufi was accused by Anton Alberts of the Freedom Front Plus of influencing the awarding of a tender to IN2IT Technologies.

The complaint was laid back in 2020 when the Gauteng finance and e-government department irregularly awarded a contract to IN2IT Technologies.

Lesufi did not come out unscathed from this matter with some saying there is no way he cannot know of a R30 million tender from his department, as well as the R431 million tender current under investigation by the country’s Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

The department has been under fire since earlier investigations revealed that it had spent R431 million on decontaminating schools between June and August last year.

That investigation further established that there was no need to decontaminate the schools as they were not occupied for months because learners were at home during the hard lockdown. 

The SIU has said that the seven companies were irregularly appointed along with over 200 others. 

To this the MEC said, “Let us wait for the SIU report”.

READ: SIU freezes more bank accounts of companies linked to the GP department of education tender for sanitizing schools

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