In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.
The late Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's daughter owns half of a BEE company which has now controversially taken over part of the R4billion Home Affairs "Who Am I" on-line project .
Pulane Kingston will benefit from the new arrangement as part owner of Sphere Holdings - the black economic empowerment arm of Barone, Budge and Dominick Business Technology Solutions (BB&D).
The "Who am I" project is aimed at developing an on-line system for the country's population register. Part of it was to develop a system that would allow World Cup visitors to apply for visas on-line. Costing an estimated R129million, this leg of the project was supposed to be operational by June 11.
Last week, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma axed IT billionaire Robert Gumede's GijimaAst company (which has already been paid R300million) from the project, saying it had failed to deliver. Dlamini-Zuma said the project would be taken over by SA Revenue Service (Sars). But Sowetan has learnt that the project has actually been taken over by BB&D - without a tender process.
Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay confirmed that BB&D was one of the IT companies now working for Sars on the project.
He said BB&D was one of the service providers who had been called in to salvage the project.
Lackay "did not know why the work was not put to tender". He said there was nothing wrong with Sars giving the work to the same service providers it already used for "technological development".
He claimed to have no knowledge of the link between BB&D, Sphere Holdings and Kingston.
Home Affairs director-general Mkhuseli Apleni refused to answer most of the opposition parties' questions in Parliament yesterday about the cancelled Gijima Ast contract. He said the matter was sub judice. After the meeting in parliament, Apleni flatly denied any knowledge of BB&D's involvement in the new deal.
Independent Democrats MP Joe McGluwa said Dlamini-Zuma must produce the agreement between Home Affairs and Gijima and explain why the new arrangement had been set up without a tender process.
DA MP Masizole Mnqasela said, "It is completely outrageous and disgusting if you have the daughter of a former minister benefitting from this project. That is nothing unusual for the ANC. People who are politically connected have benefitted from this process."
Kingston did not respond to calls from Sowetan.