Probe into North West clinic
The R108-million project was due to be completed before the start of the 2010 World Cup.
AN AUDIT firm is currently conducting a forensic investigation into the controversial awarding of a multi-million rand tender for the construction of a community health centre (CHC) in Rustenburg, North West.
The R108-million project in Tlhabane was due to be completed before the start of the 2010 World Cup.
The project has been dogged by controversy since being awarded in 2006.
Despite the provincial health department's denial there is such an investigation, Sowetan has been reliably informed an investigation has indeed been commissioned.
A reliable source in the provincial department of health informed Sowetan that R27-million had been paid to audit firm Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo to probe the entire transaction.
Last month departmental spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane denied any knowledge of the investigation.
"We are not aware of any investigation currently under way. We will cooperate fully with the authorities should an investigation be instituted," he said at the time.
Lekgethwane said construction of the health centre was the responsibility of the provincial public works department and referred this writer to that department.
A letter to all staff from the department's chief finance officer, Andrew Kyereh, indicates that an investigation is indeed under way.
The letter, dated January 16 2012, reads, in part: "The department has appointed Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo to perform a forensic investigation on its behalf and included in their mandate is to investigate the construction of the Tlhabane CHC.
".You are hereby requested to provide the investigators with the necessary support, including providing them with any information and/or documents at your disposal that relate to this forensic audit."
Kyereh's letter also reveals that the health department, and not public works as claimed by Lekgethwane, was the implementing department for the project. The project was not advertised as required by law and was controversially awarded to Tau Pride.
Tau Pride is the company that was appointed by the same department to manage its entire infrastructure.
Lambert Lobelo, a Tau Pride director, claimed that because of the urgency of the project, his company was not the only one that was given a stake in the project.
"There were many other 2010 Soccer World Cup projects that were concluded without proper tender processes," Lobelo said.
The contract was awarded by then health department head, Lydia Sebego, who is now at the national Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.