Premier ignores R210m inquest

DOES graft pay in Mpumalanga? The province's head of public works was promoted to higher office after the department awarded a tender to a service provider that lacked capacity and charged an inflated price.

Sowetan has established that though the integrity management unit in the premier's office has charged Priscilla Nkwinika, head of the provincial public work's department, with tender irregularities worth R210million, Premier David Mabuza has made her director-general in the premier's office.

According to an investigation report, a copy of which Sowetan possesses, Nkwinika appointed Lumkani Construction JV Steffanuti Stocks to build a community health centre in Lochiel, Ermelo, for R14million though the average cost of building clinics is about R5million.

While investigators recommended that Nkwinika be charged for her actions, Mabuza has been shifted from her post to director-general: micro policy and planning in his office.

The premier's office confirmed that Nkwinika had joined their office.

The report was compiled by the integrity management unit mandated to investigate all allegations received from the national anti-corruption hotline and other sources.

The report also states that Nkwinika appointed the same company for the construction of the Archives Building for R161million.

This was a big project and the company did not have the capacity to construct the wards required.

It was also established that in the same period the bid adjudication committee met and deliberated on the appointment of Lumkani Construction for the construction of the new general wards at Themba Hospital.

The committee recommended Lumekani General Trading for the amount of R35million after scoring the highest points of 87, 85.

But when investigators did a search they discovered that the director of Lumkani Construction and Lumekani General Trading was the same person, Ruth Funi Silinda.

Mabutho Sithole, provincial government spokesperson, said yesterday that the leaked copy was just an interim report and "certain information, which would enable the investigators to finalise the report, is still outstanding".