Department probed for tender fraud

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) is investigating claims that officials of the Department of Agriculture were awarding contracts to their own companies.

Scopa said this during a departmental hearing at the parliamentary village in Bendor, Polokwane, yesterday. The committee has ordered a forensic audit in the department. Scopa has ordered the department to provide the names of the companies that have been awarded contracts.

The nearly R350 million state of the revitalised irrigation scheme contract was awarded to a company believed to be run by senior officials in the department. The department was ordered to submit the names of the directors of the company that won the contract.

It must also give reasons why the entity was preferred over other bidding companies and why the other companies were ignored during the adjudication process.

Scopa said a special auditing firm would be appointed to conduct the forensic audit and report back to it its findings.