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By Alfred Moselakgomo alfredm@sowetan.co.za | Aug 13, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE involvement of Mpumalanga government officials in dodgy deals shows no sign of abating with yet another top official implicated in a shady multi-million rand tender.

In the latest development public works senior manager in project implementation, Bongiwe Zwedela appointed Fikile Projects for the construction of the disaster management centre at a cost of R82million, though a cheaper quotation for the project was R76million.

The company was also regarded by the bid evaluation committee as non responsive and should have been eliminated.

The integrity management unit report states that Zwedela insisted that Fikile be awarded the contract because the company had Construction Industry Development Board grading and had scored the highest points at 77,40.

But the bid and evaluation committee disagreed because the company had not submitted the priced bill of quotations and the bidder was not responsive while also charging inflated rates.

The committee recommended that the bid be awarded to Lefa Financial Holdings for R76million, but their recommendation was ignored.

In the appointment letter, which was accepted by Fikile on August 25, the department indicated that the contractor must submit a performance guarantee (10percent of contract value) within 14 days from that date.

But the company submitted a letter of intent from Lombaard Insurance Group instead.

The report further states that authorities were unable to provide investigators with individual score sheets prepared by the members of bid and adjudication committee.

"The chairperson of the bid (Wasnaar Hlabangoane) alleged that they were not involved with scoring for functionality as this was done by a relevant section," reads the report.

It was also observed that the bid and evaluation committee used the same page reflecting evaluation committee on the document instead of adjudication committee.

The report further states that departmental head Priscilla Nkwinika appointed Fikile without any evidence that the comments of the bid evaluation committee were considered.

The allegation against Zwedela comes only a day after Sowetan published a story that chairperson of the bid and evaluation committee, Hlabangoane is also in hot water over awarding of tenders.

He was responsible for awarding of a multi-million rand contracts to Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza former fiancée.

Hlabangoane and provincial public works department head Nkwinika are being probed for corruption.


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