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R212m missing from East Cape health coffers

Millions intended to be spent on the health needs of Eastern Cape residents have gone missing from d.


By Kingdom Mabuza | Aug 03, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A R210MILLION tender scandal in Mpumalanga has brought the ANC's commitment to clean governance into question.

A R210MILLION tender scandal in Mpumalanga has brought the ANC's commitment to clean governance into question.

Over the past month Sowetan reported that Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza had failed to deal with alleged tender irregularities in his government.

This follows the awarding of a R210million contract to his former wife Ruth Silinda, despite her company being suspended.

She also benefitted from a R60million contract to build a school in KaBokweni near Nelspruit.

Mabuza is alleged to have failed to implement recommendations of the integrity management unit, instituted by his predecessor Thabang Makwetla, to investigate.

Mabuza was MEC for agriculture at the time when the contracts were awarded.

The unit recommended that then head of public works Priscilla Nkwinika be charged but when Mabuza was chosen premier he appointed her as director-general in his office.

Nkwinika appointed Lumkani Construction JV Steffanuti Stocks to build a community healthcare centre in Lochiel, Ermelo, for R14million, though the cost of building is R5million.

The same company was also appointed to build the Archives Building for R161million.

Another company that belongs to Silinda was also awarded R35million for the construction of wards at the Themba Hospital.

Makwetla's spokesperson, Ntime Skosana, told Sowetan that the recommendations were tabled by the unit when "he (Makwetla) was no longer in office".

A top-level delegation from ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, including party general secretary Gwede Mantashe, however, failed to discuss the scandal during its weekend visit to the province.

Sowetan has learnt that the matter was not even on the agenda of the gathering.

Party insiders said Mabuza was under no obligation to explain himself either.

Insiders toldSowetan that it was entirely up to Mabuza to appraise the allegations against Mantashe but the matter was not on yesterday's agenda.

ANC provincial spokesperson Paul Mbenyane said the main purpose of Mantashe's visit was to induct the provincial executive committee and discuss organisational issues.

"This is a party programme and nobody is going to demand that Mabuza talks about this issue in his political report," Mbenyane said.

"He might choose to clarify the allegations but it is not on the agenda and he will not be asked to speak about them."

Mabuza's spokesperson, Mabutho Sithole, said he was he did not know if Mabuza would "raise the matter or not".

Mabuza recently appointed a Mpumalanga magistrate and an attorney to investigate alleged procurement irregularities involving tenders and scholar transport that happened before he came into office.

He would act on the findings.


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