head in sixes over tenders
The head of department for health and social development in Limpopo, Dr Jabu Dlamini, almost burst into tears yesterday when she was grilled by the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) about questionable transactions.
Dlamini had no answers when Scopa aked her about allegations of fronting and malpractices in the tendering process.
This was after Dlamini and her team of professionals were unable to give answers about the expenditure on the department's building that was built in the 2006/2007 financial year.
The department allegedly spent R28 million on the building, which was constructed by a private company last year.
But Dlamini, who is also the superintendent-general of the department and whose duties include overseeing the day-to-day running of the department, was unable to provide proof of payment. Scopa also wanted her to explain how the money was paid.
It also wanted an explanation about allegations that a multimillion-rand food parcel supply tender was awarded to seven companies, although only one invoice was submitted.
The R38 million food parcel tender was for distributing food parcels to poor families and schools.
It is alleged that 10 companies that sought the tender were short-listed, yet seven got the tender.
The committee said it was amazed that six of the seven companies decided to merge a few days after the tender was awarded and decided that only one company, Ions, would do the job.
Scopa chairman Rudolph Phala said it was a breach of contract by the companies and the department should have terminated the contract.
Phala said it was also public knowledge that some senior officials of the department were involved in the supply of the food parcels. "This is unlawful, pure corruption and should not be tolerated."
Dlamini claimed the copy of the lease document for the departmental building was in the archives of the department of public works and that she was too busy to get them.
She also contradicted herself when she claimed the department terminated the contract of the company that rendered service for the supply of food parcels. She later said the contract was not terminated but had lapsed.
Scopa gave the department 14 working days to provide the answers.