court bars municipality

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

The Pretoria high court has granted Bobby Motaung, the executive director of Lefika Emerging Equity, an interdict barring the municipality from making public the tender controversy surrounding a stadium.

The company is contracted to build Mpumalanga's 2010 Soccer World Cup stadium.

The court order was sought by Motaung after Mbombela Municipality resolved last week that the information regarding the stadium was of public interest.

The information being probed implicates Mbombela stadium's joint venture and Lefika in tender fraud estimated at R43 millionand collusive practices in securing the contract for the construction of Mbombela stadium.

Mbombela Municipality, resolved that a full forensic investigation be launched into unauthorised payments by 2010 co-coordinator, Differ Mogale.

The investigation also seeks a establish whether Lefika was entitled to payments amounting to R43million that Mogale allegedly approved without authorisation.

It is also alleged that Lefika failed to declare its relationship with Basil Read and its shareholder Bouyges Travaux Public and, therefore, secured the tender.

Basil Read secured a contract in 2006 to build Kaizer Chiefs' Amakhosi stadium at Mogale City, near Krugersdorp.

It is alleged that Basil Read and Lefika had a close relationship at the time Lefika was appointed as professional manager of 2010 Mbombela stadium.

Jane Duncan, executive director at the FXI said it was unfortunate that urgent interdicts are often granted without a proper hearing of the merits of the case, as the court makes the assumption that the person applying for an interdict has a case.

"Local government has a constitutional obligation to be open, transparent and accountable. People also have an unqualified constitutional right to publicly hold information.

"The information contained in the report is clearly in the public interest."