Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rigged jail tenders close to R2-billion uncovered

My previous post called for more manpower in detecting and specialised units and yet as the following case demonstrates, if special investigative units do too well a job, they are simply disbanded (a la Scorpions) or shut out as in this case. It seems every time they get close to the really big corruption deals the common denominator is the ANC power structure and that's a career killer in South Africa.

The unit responsible for uncovering almost R2 billion in fraud which surprise, surprise implicates top ANC officials did not have their contract renewed. In other words, the law is for the little people and might help explain how people like motormouth Malema can afford to live like a playboy millionaire on a R20K salary. Payoffs have to be coming in from somewhere, traded between the ANC elite like baseball cards. It's how Africa works, we shouldn't be surprised. Of course, we can expect Zuma to come riding in on a shiny white steed to kill this kind of corruption in his wake - or not.

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Damning evidence of corruption and rigging of prisons tenders worth close to R2 billion has been uncovered by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), with bidders drafting their own specifications.

Current and former Correctional Services officials could be prosecuted.

The Star can reveal that the unit was due to tell MPs last week that it had found evidence of collusion between Correctional Service Department officials and suppliers.

'The SIU is obviously a very cost-effective way of uncovering corruption'
It also found evidence that the bidders which won the multibillion-rand contracts - which include providing prison kitchen and security services - had drafted their own tender specifications.

The SIU has since 2006 investigated a security company with close links to ANC politicians and top government officials.

The company, known to The Star, won prisons contracts worth more than R1.6 bn.

The SIU said it had referred its report to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) "for (a) decision regarding prosecution". NPA spokeswoman Bulelwa Makeke said the relevant prosecutions staff had not yet seen the report. [yeah right..]

A copy of the report, which recommends disciplinary action against 22 officials, also went to Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula earlier this month.
It is understood that the report could also implicate top ruling party politicians and government officials, hence the sensitivity.

Mapisa-Nqakula failed to renew the unit's contract when it expired in April. The department has contracted the SIU since 2002 after a judicial commission uncovered large-scale corruption in prisons.

The SIU reported in its submission that R6.9 million has already been recovered through its investigation into the 200 most expensive contracts in the department, while assets of R12m were under restraint and a R4.8m saving had been made.

It also said "further asset seizures (are) pending".

SIU head Willie Hofmeyr said last night he did not want to comment at this stage.

DA MP and shadow minister of correctional services James Selfe said that, given the extent of corruption and malpractices that were uncovered by the SIU, he would like to ask Mapisa-Nqakula why investigative unit's contract had not been renewed.

"The SIU is obviously a very cost-effective way of uncovering corruption in the department, which appears to be widespread," he said. - IOL

1 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Showing whites in the illustration is typical of todays media. Can only apply to dumm corrupt blacks.