tender bid was 'illegal'

A DURBAN-BASED company was allegedly awarded a contract worth more than R2 million under false pretences by the Limpopo department of health and social development.

A DURBAN-BASED company was allegedly awarded a contract worth more than R2 million under false pretences by the Limpopo department of health and social development.

At the centre of the controversy is an allegation that the owner of Edu-Fleet had misrepresented the facts.

But Edu-Fleet owner Pumza Tuswa has claimed that she never knew anyone in the department who could have given her an undue advantage over others.

The contract, which was worth R2,25million, was meant for the training of departmental employees in transport management. It was awarded on May 6 2007.

Tuswa and acting senior general manager for corporate services Nelson Tshikovhi are said to have known each for a long time.

Tshikovhi was also acting head of department until November 30 after Jabu Dlamini took ill at work.

In her declaration to the department, Tuswa allegedly misrepresented facts by claiming she did not know any a person employed by the department who might be involved with the evaluation or adjudication of the bid.

Tshikovhi said he knew Tuswa as a facilitator for transport management training in the country. He denied ever taking part in the bid committee that awarded Tuswa the contract in Limpopo.

"But if Tuswa said in her declaration that she did not know anyone in the province she lied," Tshikovhi said.

When contacted yesterday Tuswa asked to be contacted later since she was in a doctor's consulting room at the time of going to print.

Sowetan is in possession of a copy of the declaration.

But phone records in Sowetan's possession indicate that there had been regular communication between Tuswa and Tshikovhi, between October 2006 and when the contract was awarded in May 2007.

Standing committee on public accounts chairperson Derrick Ngobeni said yesterday Scopa would "make the necessary investigations into the matter".

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