Sun Oct 23 01:44:58 SAST 2016

Manto's girl defends deal

By Anna Majavu | Apr 23, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE late Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's daughter says there is nothing dodgy about her company getting work from the Department of Home Affairs without having tendered.

Sowetan revealed on Wednesday that Pulane Kingston co-owns Sphere Holdings, the Black Economic Empowerment partner of Barone, Budge and Dominick Business Technology Solutions (BB&D) - the firm selected to take over the Home Affairs project.

Kingston said it was "purely coincidental" that Sphere Holdings would benefit from the Home Affairs project. "Sphere is absolutely not involved in seeking mandates on behalf of BB&D."

Kingston also told Sowetan that she owned 15percent of Sphere Holdings and not 50percent as we had reported.

"Just because I'm a shareholder does not mean I know what is going on in terms of day-to-day responsibility."

Last week Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dla-mini-Zuma cancelled the contract with GijimaAst, who allegedly failed to meet deadlines.

BB&D was then pulled in - without a public tender - by the South African Revenue Services (Sars) to get Home Affairs' online visa application system, 'Who Am I Online', up and running before the World Cup starts.

Auditor-General Terrence Nombembe last year voiced concern that GijimaAst was awarded the R1,9billion contract in 2007 after costs had spiralled to over R4 billion.

Yesterday government spokesperson Themba Maseko confirmed that the cabinet had approved the taking over of the project by Sars.

Maseko would not say whether the companies contracted to Sars would get the estimated R129million to do the work.

But the former State Information Technology Agency (SITA) chairperson Sello Rasethaba hit out at the new arrangement.

"SITA has been tasked by law to do IT work for the government. The job of Sars is to collect taxes not implement IT solutions.

"What would they say if another agency started collecting taxes? It smacks of jobs for pals."

DA MP Masizole Mnqa-sela also slammed the new arrangement, saying "comrades are covering for comrades".


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