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Mpumalanga's department of safety and security has been cited as one of the respondents in a claim related to the "irregular" awarding of a five-year R50million security tender in the province.
Sources say Premier Thabang Makwetla, safety and security MEC Fish Mahlalela and Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula are among the respondents in the claim.
The matter is expected to be heard in the Pretoria high court today. It is not clear who is suing who, but Sowetan has it on good authority that a R50 million security tender had allegedly been irregularly awarded to a number of companies.
The tender had apparently been awarded to contractors, some of whom are alleged to have links with top officials in Mahlalela's department. The work was allegedly supposed to have commenced on May 1 but a court order two weeks ago put it on hold until further notice.
The suspension of the tender led to the department writing letters to the security companies concerned, suspending the appointments.
"You are hereby informed that your appointment to render services to the sites of the Mpumalanga provincial government, in accordance with tender SS002/08MP at the allocated sites with effect from 30th April 2008, is hereby suspended with immediate effect subject to the outcome of the pending legal claim against the department to the awarding of the tender," reads a letter dated April 29.
"The department shall advise of any developments in this matter in due course," it adds.
Joseph Mabuza, Mahlalela's spokesman, confirmed that his department was one of the respondents in the matter. He also confirmed that the high court's involvement came after certain people complained that the tenders had been issued irregularly.
He could, however, not remember the people who are supposed to be applicants in the matter.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance in Mpumalanga has threatened to take the matter to the Public Protector if the department failed to come out clean.